Monthly Archives: January 2012
NEW Guinea Gold Corp announced last week that the mining and processing at its Mt Sinivit operation was steadily returning towards full production, reports The National.
NGG has been progressing through the normal channels for the renewal of its main mining lease (ML122) and the associated leases and exploration licences.
Due to the local landowners’ disunity, that process has been repeatedly delayed.
NGG has received formal advice from the Mineral Resource Authority (MRA) that the leases and licences remain in situ and that mining activities could continue whilst the renewal process progresses.
Acting chief executive Greg Heaney said that they had also been advised that the prime minister has directed that the leases and licenses be renewed forthwith.
“In doing so, the PNG government has flagged its desire for continuity and recognised the value of foreign investment to the PNG economy.
“The Prime Minister also complimented NGG and its associated entities for their long association with PNG and their continuing commitment to working and investing in the country,” Heaney said.
He added that NGG was pleased with its progress towards resuming full production following the recent interruption.
“We appreciate the support we are receiving from the MRA and the government through the renewal process and look forward to the successful conclusion of that exercise.
“We remain committed to working in PNG for the long-term betterment of all stakeholders associated with the mine.
MARENGO Mining Ltd said yesterday it expected to complete its bankable feasibility study on the proposed US$1.8 billion Yandera copper-molybdenum project by the middle of this year, reports The National.
In its December quarterly report released yesterday, Marengo said a new resource estimate will be published during the current quarter with advanced metallurgical test work now underway in China and Australia.
Fourteen bulk samples had been sent to China for flotation testing to assess the potential for recovery of copper concentrates.
A 45-tonne sample from the Gremi zone was also ready for processing in Perth.
Recent infill drilling results at four orebodies located at Yandera, which was not far from the Ramu nickel-cobalt mine, had come up with very wide intersections of relatively high grade assays.
Among them, Gremi had 732m averaging 0.53% copper equivalent; Imbruminda 166m averaging 0.88% copper equivalent; Dimbi 318m at 0.54% copper equivalent and Omora 146m at 0.48% copper equivalent.
Marengo, which had a cash balance of A$34.6 million at the end of the quarter, intended to continue with its regional exploration programme during the current year.
The quarterly report said Marengo’s board of management and its senior management visited Papua New Guinea during the quarter and were pleased at the level of community support for the project.
The company hoped to build and commission the mine, one of the largest undeveloped copper-molybdenum deposits in the Asia-Pacific, by 2015.
The deposit, 95km south west of Madang, was expected to host an initial 25 million tonnes a year mining operation with a potential to double production at a later stage for a 20-year mine life.
Newcrest Mining Limited and the New Ireland Provincial Government yesterday announced the commencement of three key projects in New Ireland to improve community health, education facilities and infrastructure, reports The National.
The three high impact projects in New Ireland are to be funded by Newcrest Mining Limited in partnership with the Governor of New Ireland Sir Julius Chan.
Newcrest Mining Country Manager Peter Aitsi said the three agreed projects were the first of five to be funded by Newcrest.
“As a gesture of “good will” to the people of New Ireland, Newcrest is making available K2 million to fund high value impact projects which align with the New Ireland Provincial Government priority areas,” Mr Aitsi said.
“The funding for these projects is above and beyond the requirements within existing agreements, demonstrating Newcrest’s desire to engage in effective partnerships with its key stakeholders.”
The three projects are:
- Funding for an additional doctor under the Australian Doctors International Memorandum of Agreement with the New Ireland Provincial Government (NIPG). This funding amounts to AUD$70,000 each year for three years or about K163,000 per year, or K490,000 over the three years.
- Providing concrete surfacing over the Namatanai (Moronai) Bridge and associated embankment work. Project budget K400,000.
- Connecting and commissioning an existing generator and undertaking reticulation of the power system to Namatanai High School. Project budget K300,000.
It was also agreed that Newcrest Mining Ltd technical staff would work with the Public Works New Ireland to fully assess the scope for the Namatanai Bridge and Namatanai High School projects as well as to reconfirm the budgets to complete the projects to the required specifications.
The Governor of New Ireland Province Sir Julius Chan, met with the new Country Manager for Newcrest Peter Aitsi last week after the adjournment of Parliament. Their discussions led to the first three projects being signed off. During the meeting Mr Aitsi reaffirmed Newcrest’s commitment to building a long and productive relationship with the NIPG.
Sir Julius in supporting the partnership said: “These projects indicate a new desire for a more cooperative platform between Newcrest and the New Ireland Provincial Government. The projects will positively impact the lives of the People of New Ireland Province and signal a renewal of the economic and commercial life of the Province”.
Newcrest operates the Lihir Gold Mine in the New Ireland Province.
“Getting agreement to commence three of the five projects is excellent news”, said Mr Aitsi. “Newcrest and NIPG through these projects will target important areas such as health, education and infrastructure.
This joint effort will see the conversion of our efforts into projects with meaningful impact.”
The remaining two projects will target the key area of health and are expected to be finalised soon.
New Ireland Provincial Government is one of the provincial governments that pays for education of its young citizens.
Landholders in Fiji are celebrating tonight after their Prime Minister listened to their concerns and squashed SPL 1420 and instructed the Namosi Joint Venture owned by Newcrest Mining to rehabilitate their degraded environment.
The landholders say they will not be pushed into mining because they already have alternatives to mining.
By Effrey Dademo, ACT NOW!
SOPAC, a division of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (SPC), is pushing ahead with a European Union funded project to promote experimental deep-sea mining in the Pacific region without first consulting with communities about whether this form of mining is environmentally, socially or economically appropriate.
There is currently no scientific consensus on the consequences of mining seabed hydrothermal vents and a lot of international concern about its implications. There is also no evidence to suggest mining by large foreign corporations really delivers a better quality of life for local people in the Pacific. Yet SOPAC, in alliance with the mining industry and EU, is pushing ahead with developing laws and a regulatory framework for this risky and unproven new industry.
The evidence from Papua New Guinea is that large-scale mining does not deliver a better quality of life for local people and causes a multitude of social and environmental problems. PNG has many mining operations but the Gross National Product per capita is much lower than Pacific countries that are not being exploited by mining companies.
According to the World Bank, GNP per capita in PNG is $1,300 while in Micronesia, Vanuatu and Samoa GNP is more than twice as high, at $2,700, $2,760 and $2,930 respectively. In Fiji and Tonga GNP is almost three times greater than PNG and in Palau GNP is five-times higher than in PNG. Mining might increase government revenues but most of the money is taken away by the foreign mining companies and their highly paid expatriate staff. In contrast incomes from local food production and farming are wholly retrained in the communities where the businesses are located and these types of enterprise provide a truly sustainable future.
SOPAC says there is misunderstanding and misinformation about its Deep Sea Minerals Project but the truth is it is being driven by the mining industry and the EU, who want to use Pacific resources to increase their own wealth. The mining industry has been working with SOPAC for many years to map the minerals in the Pacific and those relationships mean we can have no faith in the impartiality of SOPAC in providing technical advice to island countries.
Further, before we drive ahead with laws and regulations we need to decide if the Pacific wants to again be the guinea pig for untried and untested technology just as it was for nuclear testing. Why don’t we let Canada, the US or the EU do their testing in their own waters rather than ours? Perhaps they are afraid of more environmental disasters like the 2010 seabed oil drilling debacle in the Gulf of Mexico.
SOPAC is clearly wrong to say that laws and regulatory frameworks will ensure sustainable resource management and tangible benefits to the Pacific. Again we need to look no further than PNG which has outstanding protections in its Constitution and Environmental laws but has suffered some of the worlds worst mining disasters and a prolonged civil war caused by some the world’s largest mining companies.
Despite the denials from SOPAC we stand by our statement that the Deep Sea Minerals Project of the SPC (SOPAC) disenfranchises indigenous people and promotes the interest of big mining companies at the expense of local communities.
SOPAC is spending more time talking with Nautilus Minerals in private meetings and exclusive international workshops than it is having a conversation with the Pacific communities that will suffer the potential impacts of the mining. Nautilus is the Canadian company spearheading much of the seabed exploration in the Pacific and plans to start production at the world’s first undersea mine in PNG in 2013.
The SOPAC has stated the overall objective of the project is to develop an experimental seabed mining industry in the Pacific but fails to explain how an extractive industry can be “sustainable” nor how it will be different from other mining operations that have failed to improve the livelihood of local communities.
While SOPAC may be correct to say that experimental seabed mining could “expand the economic resource base of Pacific countries” this should not be confused with genuine development and improved livelihoods for Pacific people.
We should also not be fooled by fancy statements about “strengthening the system of governance and the capacity of Pacific States” to manage experimental seabed mining. Nothing SOPAC or the SPC can do is going to change the power imbalance between global mining corporations and Pacific Island governments and bureaucrats that make fine sounding laws and policy frameworks meaningless when it comes down to the actual management of individual mine sites.
Laws and policies did not protect the people of Ok Tedi or Bougainville and they will not protect the people impacted by experimental seabed mining.
Rather than continually dancing to the tune of global corporations, captured governments and their failed economic system of unregulated capitalism, SPC and SOPAC should be looking to support and nurture our own Pacific ways of doing business and caring for our families and the environment.
Senior Chinese managers working for MCC, the Chinese State owned company that operates the Ramu nickel mine in Papua New Guinea, have been accused of stealing funds allocated for local landowner associations.
Ten days ago, K1.006 million kina was transferred from the account of the Inland Pipeline Landowners Association to private bank accounts in China by the Chinese MCC staff who are the only signatories on the account.
Local landowners are apparently furious at the loss of the money.
Indonesia has revoked a gold mining exploration permit granted to an Australian miner following deadly protests against the project.
In 2010, West Nusa Tenggara province granted exploration rights to Australian Arc Exploration (ARX) and local miner Sumber Mineral Nusantara – a project that covers some 250 square kilometres of Sumbawa Island, which is near Bali.
In December, police fired on anti-mining protesters in Bima city and two people were killed.
The decision to revoke ARX’s permit came after thousands of people against the mining operation demonstrated last week at Bima.
Government buildings were set on fire during the protests.
“We decided to revoke permanently the permit for the sake of security stability here,” Bima district head Ferry Zulkarnain told local television station MetroTV.
“We’re ready to face any possible legal lawsuit by mining companies against the revocation,” he told state news agency Antara.
Critics worry the project would have a negative environmental impact.
ARX had halted its early-stage exploration activities following the violence.
Related story: Indonesian mine protestors shot while lying down
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama today had a successful meeting with landowners from Tikina Namosi (Province of Namosi) and Tikina Waidina (Province of Naitasiri), who presented their views on the current exploration being carried out by Namosi Joint Venture (NJV) in respect to the proposed mining operations.
The Prime Minister, together with officials from the Ministries of Environment, Lands and Provincial Development, along with the iTaukei Land Trust Board, presented the legal and administrative issues in relations to the NJV operations.
The Prime Minister highlighted that the current operations of NJV are based on a prospective license, and that before any decision is made to grant the company a mining license, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) will need to be completed.
Following an exchange of views between all parties and a full airing of concerns, it has been agreed that the landowners, the Prime Minister and relevant officials, and NJV will meet again on Tuesday, January 31 to address any and all outstanding issues and misinformation.