Monthly Archives: September 2011

Gau happy with dialogue on Ramu mine

By Angeline Karius

MADANG Governor James Gau is confident after holding talks with Chinese developer MCC on Tuesday that a compromise between landowners could see the commissioning of the Ramu mine project, reports The National.

A provincial government team, including the provincial administrator, mine’s director and deputy governor, was present for the meeting.

This comes after landowners involved in the multi-million kina Ramu nickel project threatened to stop the commissioning of the project if the government did not honour its previous commitment of K20 million establishment grant to the four landowner groups and K10 million to fix the Raicoast roads. [So the tax payers of PNG are going to pay K30 million kina so the Chinese can run off with our resources…. this is MADNESS!]

Gau said although the issue was raised in the last caucus meeting, the government had failed to include the previous government’s commitment to the supplementary budget passed recently. [Shouldn’t it be the Chinese paying the landowners – not PNG tax payers!]

He said the main issue had been that local landowners wanted maximum meaningful participation in the mine. Gau said contract rates offered by the government were much higher compared to the Chinese. [Becuase the Chinese are ripping everyone off – landowners, government and tax payers…]

He said he would be meeting with minister for finance and treasury to find money in government savings to facilitate the K20 million not included in the recent supplementary budget. [Hopefully common sense will prevail and NEC will say NO!]

Coastal Pipeline Landowners Association chairman Charles Okori told NBC Madang that the people were frustrated and would not allow the commissioning of the project if the government did not honour the two commitments.

Kurumbukari Landowners Association chairman David Tigavu called on the developer to improve the value of contracts for the landowner companies. He said failure to comply by both parties could mean the delay of the project commissioning.

Okori said the Ramu nickel project was just as important as the multi-billion kina LNG project in Southern Highlands and must be given the same recognition.

“Ramu will be an important and equal partner in the national economy, however, it has been overlooked by the government and has not been given same prominence as other projects in the country,” he said. [Equal partner? Bullshit! What about their 15 year tax emption and other ‘sweetners’ given away by Somare et al?]

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Mine Watch a big hit on Facebook

The companion to this blog, the Mine Watch profile on social networking site Facebook has attracted an amazing 5,000 registered friends – the maximum allowed by Facebook rules.

The Mine Watch profile has therefore now been converted to a fan page, where you can still follow all the latest articles from this blog, share them with your friends and join in the discussions.

Facebook claims over 55,000 registered users in Papua New Guinea and is growing rapidly, although the registered followers of the Mine Watch page come from all across the globe.

Connect with Mine Watch on Facebook

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Filed under Corruption, Environmental impact, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

Mine closure plans begin

Mine Closure plans and policies are currently being developed by the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) and the Department of Mineral Policy & Geohazards Managements (DMPGM), reports the Post Courier newspaper.

Representatives of the two agencies have just returned from the sixth International Mine Closure Conference held in Canada on September 18-22.

MRA was represented by Acting Manager for the Technical Assessment Branch Lyndah Brown-Kola, while senior policy officers Seymour Pok and Patrick Kapuot represented the DMPGM.

The conference addressed best practices in mine closure processes such as mine rehabilitation methods, financial security and corporate social responsibility.

Brown-Kola said the two most important lessons learnt which would give the MRA and DMPGM direction were “prescriptive versus enabling” or a combination of both legislative styles, from the policy perspective, and a risk-based approach to closure planning from the regulatory aspect.

She said the information gained from this meet would help MRA and DMPGM to formulate appropriate policies and regulatory guidelines for mine closure.

Brown-Kola said the formulation of appropriate policies and regulatory guidelines would assist in reducing the long term environmental footprint of mining and provide for self-sustaining mine closure landforms. It would also re-establish ecological productivity post mining and developing beneficial post-mining land uses for stakeholders, local communities and other owners within our country, PNG.

She said the conference provided the opportunity to network among multi-disciplinary mine closure specialists from various parts of the world.

The conferencem which was hosted by the University of Alberta and governed by the Australian Centre for Geomechanics & Cranfield University, attracted 600 registered delegates from all over the world, with 124 technical papers at break-out sessions, 15 plenary speakers and a 5 member panel discussion.

The seventh International Mine Closure Conference will be held from the September 24-28, 2012 in Brisbane, Australia for those who are interested and would like to participate.

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From Money to Metal – tracking global mining deals

Launched in late 2007, “From Money to Metals” gathers together disparate data on institutions (both commercial and private) which aim to profit from mineral extraction and processing. The database examines the background, investment and management strategies of around 500 banks, private funders, insurance companies, hedge funds and private equity firms, as well as some individuals, that have recently provided financial stimulus to numerous mining companies.

Additional information can be found on our blog: http://mining.boellblog.org/

Inviting your collaboration

If you find this document helpful, please feel free to contribute further data (including corrections and updates) in order to increase its usefulness.

More detail on allegations made against the referenced mining and mineral companies can be found on the Mines and Communities (MAC) website, a joint website by Heinrich Böll Foundation and Mines and Communities, edited by Nostromo Research: http://www.minesandcommunities.org/company

Also, please go to the “MONEY” page at the same site, to view further critical information about some of the funders listed in the “From Money to Metals” data base:  http://www.minesandcommunities.org/list.php?f=11

You are warmly welcomed to notify MAC of any further violations that come to your notice, by emailing: info@minesandcommunities.org

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PM launches investigation into MRDC

By Mohammad Bashir

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has directed Attorney-General and Justice Minister Dr Allan Marat to institute a special investigation into the alleged squandering of millions of kina of landowner monies by the Mineral Resources Development Company (MRDC), one of which is the defunct multi-million kina Casino Hotel development, reports the Post Courier.

The directive stems from serious allegations of schemes devised to squander landowners’ monies in lieu of investments, royalties and equities from resource projects.

The Prime Minister noted that there were also allegations of inflated payments towards the acquisition of properties which do not have clear titles. Similarly, the purchase of 50 percent stake in a helicopter company which appears to have a book value of K30 million (which equates to K15 million) was allegedly purchased and acquired at the cost of K70 million by MRDC.

“It is now becoming a concern and we must act fast and address those issues without any further delay. I am aware that these allegations are serious in nature and will warrant an investigation,” Mr O’Neill wrote in his letter to Dr Marat on August 22.

Chairman of the powerful Namo’Aporo Landowners Association in Kutubu, Mark Sakai had written to the Prime Minister on August 8 seeking government intervention into the alleged corrupt practices within MRDC. Some of the issues highlighted were serious and would require proper investigations to confirm.

Landowners claimed that investments undertaken by landowner companies under the MRDC management were now thrown into limbo, one of which is the Four Mile Casino Hotel development undertaken by CMSS (PNG) Ltd.

“The MRDC is an important company but to date it may have lost its focus. It is now my fear that the company which was established to provide prudent business and financial advice is being used as a vehicle to acquire companies and assets against proper scrutiny and due diligence. Therefore, as a shareholder, I am now directing you to consider these issues very urgently and sanction a special investigation to verify these allegations,” Mr O’Neill wrote.

MRDC Managing Director Augustine is reportedly out of town and could not be contacted yesterday but in a recent interview, he had told this reporter that in his tenure in the last 9 years, he had turned the company around with its book value tripled. He had also defended the purchase of the helicopter company.

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Filed under Corruption, Financial returns, Papua New Guinea

PM orders probe into MRDC

By Mohammad Bashir

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has directed Attorney-General and Justice Minister Dr Allan Marat to institute a special investigation into the alleged squandering of millions of kina of landowner monies by the Mineral Resources Development Company (MRDC), one of which is the defunct multi-million kina Casino Hotel development, reports the Post Courier.

The directive stems from serious allegations of schemes devised to squander landowners’ monies in lieu of investments, royalties and equities from resource projects.

The Prime Minister noted that there were also allegations of inflated payments towards the acquisition of properties which do not have clear titles. Similarly, the purchase of 50 percent stake in a helicopter company which appears to have a book value of K30 million (which equates to K15 million) was allegedly purchased and acquired at the cost of K70 million by MRDC.

“It is now becoming a concern and we must act fast and address those issues without any further delay. I am aware that these allegations are serious in nature and will warrant an investigation,” Mr O’Neill wrote in his letter to Dr Marat on August 22.

Chairman of the powerful Namo’Aporo Landowners Association in Kutubu, Mark Sakai had written to the Prime Minister on August 8 seeking government intervention into the alleged corrupt practices within MRDC. Some of the issues highlighted were serious and would require proper investigations to confirm.

Landowners claimed that investments undertaken by landowner companies under the MRDC management were now thrown into limbo, one of which is the Four Mile Casino Hotel development undertaken by CMSS (PNG) Ltd.

“The MRDC is an important company but to date it may have lost its focus. It is now my fear that the company which was established to provide prudent business and financial advice is being used as a vehicle to acquire companies and assets against proper scrutiny and due diligence. Therefore, as a shareholder, I am now directing you to consider these issues very urgently and sanction a special investigation to verify these allegations,” Mr O’Neill wrote.

MRDC Managing Director Augustine is reportedly out of town and could not be contacted yesterday but in a recent interview, he had told this reporter that in his tenure in the last 9 years, he had turned the company around with its book value tripled. He had also defended the purchase of the helicopter company.

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Filed under Corruption, Financial returns, Papua New Guinea

Marengo Mining posts operating loss of US$4.3m

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