A commentary on the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum Seminar

About 500 people attended the start of this week’s industry lobby group organised 2 day festival at the Gateway Hotel celebrating the work of the exploiters in PNG.

At least 90% of the participants on day one were white and male – which gives you a good idea of who is making money out of PNG minerals.

A few government people attended but where were the indigenous landowners, where were the women, where were the indigenous mine workers?

They, of course, cant afford the K1,400 registration fee on top of the expensive Port Moresby accommodation and airfairs.

It is the meeting of all the Devils in PNG to discussed their success in exploiting and cheating the locals.

Ila Temu, from Barrick Gold and President of Chamber of Mines and Petroleum told the seminar he and the Chamber are totally against any change in the ownership of minerals from the State to Landowners – said it would be unworkable – what is needed instead is better landowner and government managment of landowner and government benefits.

Of course he would say that! If the landowners had a say the foreign exploiters (miners) wouldn’t get given all the minerals for FREE when they get their mining licence. Much easier to fool a few government officials in Port Moresby than have to deal with savvy people who live on and from the land.

Ok Tedi boss was next up on the pondium. Telling how fabulous Ok Tedi has been for PNG – and what an amazing feat it was to build a mine there. Not one mention of being the worst mining environmental disaster in the world. Oh – and they are really working on a tailings dump for an extended mine life – working on it!

How fracking long have they had to work on it? 35 years so far.

He also talked about the confidence the “mining fraternity” has in PNG….. and, pass the sick bucket, OK Tedi and its new era of Social Responsibility…….  It’s like union carbide giving grameen bank microloans!!!  Wonder how all those old white men would have reacted had they been told it was Ok Tedi water they were drinking from their table pitchers….

The President of the Chamber of Mines and Petroleum also said how fabulous the mining industry has been in giving jobs to women ? Really ??? Really ??? Well they weren’t visible at the Seminar – unless he was referring to the waitresses pouring the water!!!

Oh sorry – you’ve given a few truck driving jobs and a couple of apprenticeships to females. Good for you. There he was in a men only meeting and talking of the acceptance of women in the mining industry!!!!!

All the rest of the talk was of course about $$$$$ – which is the real reason the mining industry exists in PNG, to make money for neo-colonial exploiters, the new super-powers of the 21st century, global mining and petroleum companies.

Of course there was nothing about how local people in PNG are being screwed by their own political leaders, their so call intellectuals living in urban ares and also the few money hungry locals living like wolves among the sheep in individual project area who think of no one else but themselves…..



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

13 responses to “A commentary on the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum Seminar

  1. JUDY

    Years now this seminar has come and gone, some held in PNG(mainly Pom) and Auz land.I attended one for the first time on behalf of my husband because he was busy with meetings in his office for half a day.
    As you rightly said there is hardly any women folk from the actual work force from within the companies or sites.There was a Unitech lecturer with 5 or six students (females) who were studying some subjects related to exploration or mining.Maybe there was about 13 or 15 female ( including a NGO and housewife,thats me)
    Maybe there was was only two young men relating to land but not actual landowners.At such seminar I learned that day the representives talk about how many PNGs they have employed,a few kina here and there they have helped support villagers with,eg aid post or school,church buildings.
    I can say 9 /10 they talked mostly about themselves and what they were doing in the areas of their PPLs or PDLs or PRLs ;how much money was spent in their endeavours to dig up the ground to get whatever .

    • Wesely

      As a house wife and presumably not involved in actual exploration on ground did you expect the subject matter of discussion to be anything else?
      In the main its all pretty boring to persons who are not involved in either the commercial of management side of things.
      A lot of the significance of what people are talking about would not be apparent to lay persons.
      It seems however that some think there these events are social functions, like the Melboune Cup.
      They are not.
      Nor is it a conference convened for Land Owners.
      Nor does anyone seem to get the point that its really a meeting for senior management so of course staff will not attend.

  2. Wesely


    About 500 people attended the Gateway Hotel to hear speakers from the Mining Industry discuss their experiences in PNG.
    As would be expected there was a large contingent of international participants on day one which gives a strong indicator of the medium and long term commitment the international community has toward investment in PNG and this, in particular, is a very encouraging sign notwithstanding the dire economic down turn in the US, Europe and now China, and the fat that resource development capital is tight on international money markets.
    The conference was broadly represented by industry, government, and other stake holders (even the environmental lobby managed to attend) and this to was encouraging given the lack of constructive engagement these latter stake holders have manifest in past conferences.
    It was, however, disappointing to see that the agenda did not include any constructive contribution from the environmental lobby, a matter that was not unnoticed by many attendees given the high profile these stakeholders have taken over the last year or so in the public media.
    It was also pleasing to see a historically higher number of women attending the conference indicating the growing involvement of women in the Mining Industry and the valuable contribution they can bring to developing PNG’s resource wealth.
    Of course, for the majority of the public there was no real value in attending the conference given the K1,400 registration fee and high costs associated with getting to it.
    Ila Temu, from Barrick Gold and President of Chamber of Mines and Petroleum addressed the seminar and gave a valuable insight into recent policy statements from the current Minister for Mining, the effect of which would be devilish in terms of nation building and wealth distribution and the development of a growing middle class in PNG.
    This in particular is a critical challenge for PNG if it is to develop toward an egalitarian society and highlights the banal stupidity of the perverse, simplistic and opportunistic argument that somehow the industry gets something for “free” when they take up a tenement, spend millions and millions of their own hard cash in a very tight money market, taking the huge risks to identify, develop and mine in what is arguably one of the most difficult geographic and under developed infrastructural parts of the globe.
    Mr. Temu highlighted the need for better government management of landowner issues and government benefits, matters that were not supported by any contribution from “the left”, as t be expected, and this clearly demonstrates the Industry’s commitment to nation building, more than government, more than any other stake holders.
    Mr. Temu’s commitment is clearly very genuine.
    Having himself been born from humble origins both he and his siblings are leading luminaries in PNG society and a shining example to all in PNG that hard work, and unswerving commitment to self-achievement, will bring success to the nation and the individual, rather than banal arrogance and self-promotion.
    Mr. Temu is a reminder to those who would claim to be part of the PNG elite that only real commitment to the essential principals of self-determination will achieve the goal, and his unpretentious and clear commitment to the peoples of PNG is a very welcomed.
    But Mr. Temu’s clear and genuine apolitical commitment to the future of PNG was echoed by others within industry who, having witnessed firsthand the disparity between what is said and what is done, highlighted the need for the industry to take a leading role in developing communities and regions, no one else, it seems, has any capacity of commitment to achieving such ends, especially the raucous minority lobby groups who, like empty barrels, make to most noise.
    This highlighted an issue which runs deep in current thought in contemporary PNG, a clear line in the sand has been drawn between those with substance and those who posture a reactionary policy line but lack substance or vision.
    This is no more clearly demonstrated by the fact that the presence of woman in the work for within the Mining industry is ever growing despite the difficulties that many have in getting past cultural divided, and to a great extent the both the President and Chairperson of the Chamber of Mines are to be congratulated on their joint vision for a better PNG by expressly supporting and encouraging this particular policy initiative.
    The conference is also a wakeup call to the government of PNG in that it demonstrated overtly that in order for the industry to grow and benefit the communities across PNG the government is required to commit, not in words, but in tangible action, to honor its obligation to all stake holders so as to ensure that PNG can truly be seen to be moving toward an egalitarian society.

  3. Tanirau

    How many women were registered as conference attendees?

    • j kross

      Tanirau. PNG is a femili oriented kantri. Daddy went to conference and mummy stayed home to look after kids. End of the day everyone’s happy. It’s not like mummy and daddy both go to separate conferences, both wearing hard hats and steel toe boots and end up fighting as to who will cook the dinner, because both are now big bosses which eventually the whole thing ends up in divorce where kids lives go bagarrrup.

      • Wesely

        J Kross
        You truly crack my sombre face with poignant wit.
        Husband tricks wife goes to mining conference with excuse about “other business”.
        He’s down the pub.
        She’s at the conference…………
        “What, no champers and strawberries………oh, too many men, not enough women to ‘chat” with………..this is boring!”
        Talk about strange and unusual punishments inflicted by husband on wife.

      • j kross

        Wesely. Welcome champ. Throw in a few crackers and chase off the boredom. Make life less complicated. Hi there Tiffarau.

  4. Wesely

    As it happened, Tiffany, from the available advice at this point in time, there was a 9% increase in female registration this year from last year.
    I am sure you will agree this is a very encouraging sign from femal professionals.
    Clearly the initiatives of both Industry and the Chamber of Mines are both beneficial and effective in developing a more representative cross section in Industry.
    Of course, Rome Was Not Built In A Day, but it’s a positive outcome.
    Don’t you think?
    Obviously no right thinking person would expect a radical change to 50-50% overnight but I am sure you understand this.
    One must also take into account the fact that many women have families and simply don’t have the inclination nor time to attend such venues.
    Have a nice day.

  5. Wesely

    Remind the readers of how many full time permenant jobs you created in PNG this year.

  6. Wesely

    Yiffany, if you are all so cynical about women in the work force ask yourself why. All you seem to obsess about is destroying the very foundation in which employment is created.

  7. Tanirau

    “9% increase” does not answer the question of how many women were registered as conference attendees.

    • Wesely

      But TiffanyTanirau………….thats the answer you asked for because that answer corresponds exactly with what was said initially.
      How many men between the age of 32 and 43 where at the conference Tanirau?
      If woman do not attend mining conferences in equal numbers to men whats your point?
      That woman should be forced to attend mining conferences?
      Or do you want to extend this argument to some thing even more absurd?

      • Wesely

        Come on Ms T, how about you respond to my question ” How many men between the age of 32 and 43 where at the conference”.
        Yes, I think you can see the problem.
        Your trapped here forever Ms T, in the twilight zone.
        Ask your self, was it really worth it?

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