Monthly Archives: December 2013

Porgera future under threat as artisan miners flood site

Illegal miners enter site

Philip Kepson | The National aka The Loggers Times

MORE than 1,000 illegal miners have reportedly entered the Porgera gold mine site over the past couple of weeks, causing serious concern for Barrick and government authorities on the future of the multi-million kina gold project.

Barrick management executives and Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) said after a joint visit to the SML (special mining lease) area last Friday, the problem with the illegal miners had reached a catastrophic level and parties involved in the project needed to address the issue urgently.

MRA coordinator of PJV (Porgera Joint Venture) and Mt Kare exploration project Joe Kak Ryangao said after seeing hundreds of people (illegal miners) flooding into the SML area, including the open pit, stock pile sites and other sensitive company facilities, that he would put together a report for the parties to meet soon to come up with ways to address the problem.

Ryangao said the only area the illegal miners had not gone into yet was the underground tunnel which had an electronic entry system.

“I could not believe that hundreds of people were everywhere in the SML area, mainly in the open pit and stock piling sites. These areas are dangerous and restricted to specialist workers only,” he said.

Ryangao said the presence of unauthorised people (illegal miners) in the operation areas became a serious concern as it disturbed the mining operation in a big way and  posed high risks.

He said one of the recommendations he would make for the parties, including Barrick, the landowners and national and Enga provincial governments to discuss, was the relocation of people living within the SML area.

“The illegal miners are from different parts of the Highlands region. They live within the SML area and cause these problems,” he said.

“They need to be relocated to cut down on the number of people causing problem to the mine operation.”

Barrick acting general manager Kevin Fish and open pit manager Craig Rintaul said more than 800 illegal miners entered the mine site daily in the last two weeks.

They said special police personnel and security officers were outnumbered as they (the illegal miners) moved in big numbers, armed with any form of objects including bush knives, stones, iron bars and logs to attack anyone who tried to stop them.

Company executives said they would not authorise security personnel to use excessive force to stop the people as they feared serious human rights implication.

Three illegal miners died three weeks ago after they were reportedly chased into the cliffs by company security people while they were carrying out illegal mining inside the open pit area.



Filed under Financial returns, Papua New Guinea

Fiji Times happy to broadcast mining company spin

Mining company employs eighty

Luke Rawalai | The Fiji Times

THE XINFA Bauxite Mining Company has employed about 80 people within the province of Bua since it began operations two years ago.

Company executive director Sang Lei said many of workers were involved in driving, carpentry works, security and management.

Mr Lei said majority of their workers were from villages in the Bua province and areas around Vanua Levu.

“Since we began operations we had promised to provide employment to the people and we are employing as much workers we can take in,” he said.

“Work rates for our labourers are higher than other labour intensive employments.

“Labourers who hail from outside the province are given a free stay within the company’s facilities and are given free meals every day.”

Mr Lei said they paid out about $1.2million in labour costs to their workers last year.

“We believe that we are playing our part in contributing effectively to the growth of the economy in Nawailevu and the development of its people.”

Company assistant executive director Dereck Qiu said the company was involved in community projects in the Nawailevu area.

Leave a comment

Filed under Fiji, Financial returns

Bullshit Mountain Collapses on Bougainville – President Injured, but No Fatalities

In his Christmas day address, Bougainville’s President began his long awaited U-Turn. “The Autonomous Bougainville Government will slow its push for Mining in the Autonomous region as from the new year”, the President claimed. ‘Never’ one to blame the people for his own mistakes, the President immediately blamed the people for his own mistakes.

New Dawn FM report: ‘He told New Dawn FM that the government was [only] listening to the landowners who wanted BCL to return as investor of the Giant Copper and Gold project but the landowners keep changing sides resulting in the Government losing a lot of money, time and effort in the process that has taken us nowhere’.

But of course this is a lie, and anyone in the mine area knows the people have never changed sides, their side has always been land, environment, custom and community, while Momis and his cronies stand for money, greed, foreign predation and environmental destruction (Francis Ona nailed him on this front in 1989).

Does the President forget about that infamous meeting in November 2011, where Michael Oni, the Mining Minister told landowner leaders “that there was no two ways about [it, the] Panguna mine [is] being opened in the not too distant future”. Doe he forget his own words at this meeting, “[the mine] must be opened and there is an important need for a Unified Stand by ABG and Panguna Landowners”. That sounds very much like a direction from the ABG to the landowner community, not vice versa.

Lets see how long it takes for the ABC to report on the President’s backflip (or BCL’s ‘world class’ blog Bougainville 24), if they do you can bet they wont acknowledge their own role in building this unstable mountain of bullshit that is falling on top of the ABG. For the last two years ABC journalists – the master chefs of corporate excrement – have waged a largely unprompted crusade for their corporate friends and benefactors in Canberra. When SBS dared to speak the unspeakable and expose BCL’s role in war crimes (i.e. real journalism), where did the company’s chairman go to have his empty denials published? Why the ABC, of course.

When President Momis and his friends from AusAID attempted to legalise a resource swindle by sneaking legislation into parliament, who misinformed the public on their behalf? Why ABC, naturally! “New Bougainville Legislation a World First for Landowners Rights to Minerals”, was the headline.

Indeed, for the past year we have been told that President Momis and Rio Tinto are good guys, just trying to develop Bougainville so the people can enjoy independence. Outspoken critics like Sam Kaouna on the other hand, so the corporate line goes, is a greedy self-seeking war-lord in bed with criminal Canadian investors. And with uncanny timing AusAID have funded a research project designed to find out about these alleged Canadian criminals – research run by the same AusAid advisor who oversaw the drafting of the ‘World First’ legislation –  then mysteriously several months later Canadian police arrive on Bougainville, though the ABG assure us that they had nothing to do with the Canadian investigation (Australia though was never asked of its role, curiously enough). Whats that smell?

The people of Bougainville know what it is. They have not forgotten, and will never forget, that President Momis from the comfort of Port Moresby sat in a war Cabinet that ordered a brutal military campaign that involved every crime in the book, execution of civilians, the burning of homes, the forced internment of villagers, and the denial of humanitarian  aid. And who was the Commander in Chief at the time, Rabbie Namaliu. And where is Sir Rabbie today? Why on BCL’s Board of Directors, the company that aided and abetted the military force he sent to the island. People don’t forget the BS, even if the media fails to draw attention to it.

And what of the alleged criminal Sam Kaouna? He risked everything for his people, by going AWOL from the PNGDF in 1989, where he had served, and joining the rebels – not for personal gain – but because he had seen painfully the war crimes being inflicted on fellow Bougainvilleans. The people don’t forget.

President Momis in his Christmas address tells us, “the ABG is now turning its focus on Agriculture [oil palm], Fishing and Forestry for much needed revenue”. To translate, he is selling Bougainville’s other resources to Asian ‘developers’, who he has been busy courting from 5-star hotels in the Philippines and China.

Its almost pathological, the President seems incapable of trusting his own people, yet they survived and innovated under the most brutal conditions imaginable, conditions inflicted on them by a Cabinet in which Momis sat. The people don’t need foreign investors, they need their own government’s faith in them and their abilities to develop an independent economy – what a novel idea.

Momis concluded his address stating “that they will still continue talks on the Panguna mine but on a much slower pace”.

In other words this is a tactical retreat. The cheque book is out at the moment, and in time the ABG hopes to buy and conquer Panguna landowners. They may win over one or two weak individuals, but the people who fought, struggled and died over the course of a decade, their land and dignity is not for sale.


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

Some typically on sided reporting from the ABC…

PNG mining i bringim gutpla moni igo long kantri

Caroline Tiriman | ABC Radio

Ol wok mining iwok long bringim planti moni igo long Papua New Guinea na i luk olsem despla kaen wok bisnis bai go hed iet long planti yia ikam.

The Ok Tedi Mine in Papua New GuineaOk Tedi Mine long Papua New Guinea (Credit: ABC licensed)

Planti bisnis laen oa kampani em oli stap insaet long ol wok mining long PNG isave kam long Australia, na sampla tu ikam long Asia na Canada.

Gavman blong PNG isave wok hard tru long pulim planti mining kampani blong ol narapla kantri long go insaet long ol despla mining bisnis.

Wanpla man husat ibin mekim planti wok long despla sekta em Paul Nerau husat ibin wok bifo olsem Consul General blong PNG long Brisbane.

Tasol nau Mr Nerau iwok wantem wanpla bisnis kampani blong Australia na traem pulim planti moa bisnis igo long PNG.

1 Comment

Filed under Financial returns, Papua New Guinea

MRDC: Fiji outlay big

The National aka The Loggers Times

The Mineral Resources Development Company (MRDC) has invested a huge sum in a property development project in Fiji in anticipation of a big return, chief executive and managing director Augustine Mano said. He said the recent investment was big and would increase returns.

Mano said MRDC and two of its subsidiaries were joint investors in the property in Fiji with them having a third of the joint venture.

“MRDC is one third, and then you have MROK (Mineral Resources Ok Tedi) and PRK (Petroleum Resources Kutubu).

“These three partners made the decision after looking at the investment proposal and thought it is a very good investment.

“We were convinced that it will increase the returns,” Mano said.

Fiji Sun recently reported that the big boost to Pacific Harbour as a tourism hub was continuing through major investment by PNG’s MRDC early last month.

It came with the opening of the Pacific Bar and Grill at the clubhouse as part of the The Pearl Championship Golf Course’s upgrade.

As new owners of The Pearl South Pacific Resort, Spa and Championship Golf Course, MRDC was investing US$99 million (K240 million) in the property.

Come 2015, the investment would complete three phases of construction-building for the property.

These are the marina, which is expected to open next month and the building of the new wing and renovation of the old wing of the resort.

Mano said: “We did it because of our diversification.

“It’s like you have the Lamana group and Nasfund, who are doing their own investment in Fiji … ours is similar.

“For us it’s part of diversification and also in terms of our influence in the Pacific.

“The returns at the end of the day is the economic decision,” Mano said.

Mano said: “In Fiji it has to do with tourism. Tourism is like their heart … just like PNG’s mining and petroleum”.


Filed under Financial returns, Papua New Guinea

Fiji: Bauxite mine rakes in about $40M

Watisoni Butabua | Fiji Village

The bauxite mine in Nawailevu, Bua has raked in about $40million from the export of bauxite so far this year.

Mine Manger Basilio Vanuaca said the company has sent nine shipments to China from January to last month.

He said the mining is progressing well and families around the area have benefitted from assistance provided by the company.

He said through this assistance the company was able to provide electricity and water to the community.

The bauxite mine which opened last year has employed 200 people who are skilled and unskilled workers.

1 Comment

Filed under Fiji, Financial returns

Momis dumps plans for early Rio Tinto return as landowners force u-turn

ABG President John Momis has been forced into an undignified u-turn over plans to allow Rio Tinto back into Bougianville to re-open the Panguna Mine. Key to Momis’s plan was a new Mining Law drafted by Australian academics for hire and financed by the Australian government and backed by the mining industry. But Bougianville people have repeatedly rejected various draft versions of the new law, a position which has now forced Momis to concede defeat. 


Aloysius Laukai | New Dawn

The Autonomous Bougainville Government will slow its push for Mining in the Autonomous region as from the new year.

ABG President, John Momis made this known in his Christmas and New Year message to the people of Bougainville on New Dawn FM today….

He told New Dawn FM that the government was listening to the landowners who wanted BCL to return as investor of the Giant Copper and Gold project but the landowners keep changing sides resulting in the Government losing a lot of money, time and effort in the process that has taken us nowhere.

President Momis said that the ABG wants to enact the Mining Law that will protect both the mining company and the resource owners but this has dragged on and on and on with no end in sight.

He said that the ABG is now turning its focus on Agriculture, Fishing and Forestry for much needed revenue.
President Momis said that they will still continue talks on the Panguna mine but on a much slower pace.

Leave a comment

Filed under Environmental impact, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

Ramu Nickel CIRCUS continues at “MOA Signing”

Bullshit/Alcohol Rule the Local Bollywood Comedy

Bismarck Ramu Group

WORLD CLASS MCC continues on with its “DEVELOPMENT” of Madang Province. In a scene from a poor Bollywood comedy all the clowns were present TRYING to put on a show that was to convince the people how wonderful the so-called Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) was and how it was going to benefit Madang, the country, the region, the world, the planet and the entire universe. It was hilarious at one level, but at another it is a sad state of affairs to see yet another example of the nonsense and bullshit which is presently dominating our country.

Now before we continue let us say we debated among ourselves whether we should use the word bullshit. We decided to go to the dictionary and see how the word is defined. It says: Noun: stupid or untrue talk or writing; nonsense. Verb: talk nonsense to (someone), typically to be misleading or deceptive. Yep Bullshit is the appropriate term all right. That describes the whole event.


Now the first thing one must ask is why another MoA. There already was one. So why another? Well the post MoA signing “bullshit” will try (and fail miserably) to convince you that after seven years a new MoA was in order, but why??

The first MoA was a typical MoA signed by the PNG government and a Mining Company. That agreement was signed with the Australian based Highlands Pacific. It was signed under the Morauta government on the 26th of July 2000. That Mining Development Agreement was 81 pages long.

When Highlands Pacific couldn’t find the financial backing they needed to get the mine off the ground (or is that in the ground?) they had to settle for WORLD CLASS MCC. Now when MCC came in they wanted to do away with the agreement signed by HP with the PNG government. Actually MCC wanted Highlands Pacific out of the picture entirely.

The Somare government explained to the Chinese that they couldn’t by-pass Highlands Pacific and that the agreement COULD NOT be changed HOWEVER it could be amended. The Chinese LOVED hearing this so they sat down with Somare, (with HP, quietly looking on) and knocked out AMENDMENTS to the ORIGINAL MINING agreement signed by the Morauta government.

The amendments totaled 41 pages. That’s right everyone the amendments were 41 pages and basically took a standard mining contract between a mining company and the State and stripped the state and landowners of most of the benefits they could possibly had gotten. Huh? That’s right! In fact Somare handed to the Chinese everything they wanted including a drastic reduction in the state equity. This “agreement” was signed on the 10th of August 2006.

This “agreement” was questioned by many people, groups and organisations including BRG. Basically what was being questioned is how a standard mining agreement could be “amended” to totally disempower the state and the people. Also how in the world could the PNG government take such a drastic reduction in their stake in the mine. And why weren’t the people consulted? One can certainly assume the answers to these questions given the politics in PNG today.

A copy of the original agreement and the 41 pages of Chinese amendments are here: Mining Development Contract 2000 [9MB] MCC 2008 Amendments to Mine Agreeement [8MB]

Have a look for yourselves. As they say “read it and weep”.

So now they decide (7 years later) to sign a “new MoA”. And you know what it says???? You don’t? – Well nobody else does either- yep it was drawn up in Waigani, sent up here for the Circus – not distributed to anyone, no landowners were consulted – and it was SIGNED! How about that for progress. Nope – we are NOT making this up!!!!! How could you?


The Circus “SIGNING” took place at Jais Aben Resort. Over 700 people showed up (yea we know MCC said 2,000 in the Daily Log (National Newspaper, but it was only 700). Present along with the WORLD CLASS MCC reps, including ZHAO SHIMIN (and their new media camera man) were the husband of Teresa Kas – James who is currently the Governor of Madang; Little Byron Chan, PNG’s Mining Minister whose never found a miner whose butt he doesn’t love to kiss and do what he is told to do by them: Madang’s Mining Officer John Bivi, whose job was that of ring master – making sure everyone found their seats and signed the MoA as quickly as possible: the chairmen from the four Landowners Associations who have been in MCC’s pockets from the beginning but who as Judge Cannings ruled in the MCC Court case DO NOT REPRESENT THE LANDOWNERS. Keep that in mind everyone. Apparently this issue is NOT going away.

Also present was Usino-Bundi MP Anthon Yagama who went on about how wonderful it was the Chinese haven’t abandoned the project (please Anthon – you know as well as we do why they haven’t abandoned the project – and it has nothing to do with helping PNG or the landowners).

The Mineral Resource Development Company (MRDC) and the Mineral Resource Association (MRA) was of course present. MRA’s major contribution was to have one of their staff drop off K25,000 CASH two days prior to the event to used for the “bar bill”. The MRA staff member said if any money was left over – (there wasn’t) – it could be returned to him (we’re sure it could be).


The circus itself, as stated at the beginning, looked like a setting in a bad Bollywood comedy. It was unorganized and Ring master John Bivi’s job was obviously to keep all the LOYAL people near the front of the Conference Hall and everyone else in the back. When questions were raised by landowners (in the back of the Hall) in regards to the MoA, the process, non-consultation of landowners and where was the actual MoA – they were ignored or told to be quiet.

Mr. Joe Koroma was one of the persons questioning the proceedings, suggesting the Lands Titles Commissioners (LTC) should be informed, present and also sign such an MoA. Mr. Koroma suggested the signing be put off until the LTC could be invited. This was ignored and one Sama Melambo (one of the former plaintiff’s who brought the legal suit against MCC until Somare and company bought him off ) told Koroma and others to be quiet and make sure the signing took place quickly. You see Mr. Melambo is a busy man these days (spending his sell out money no doubt) and he couldn’t hang around, he had things to do, places to go, people to meet.

The husband of Teresa Kas was pitiful in his presentation. He had been putting on a show in Madang, along with John Bivi to try and get people to think he was against the dumping of waste in Basamuk Bay. When he was questioned on this he said – are you ready for this? – the Chinese developer (that’s MCC folks) was testing the system, they had taken samples and had sent them to Australia for further tests to be carried out. Huh??? Ah Mr. Kas shouldn’t the results of those tests be released prior to signing an agreement. And is it MCC who should be doing their own tests? Looks like the “new Jim Kas” is no different from the “old Jim Kas.” No surprise there.


Once they finally got those that were suppose to sign the new MoA to sign then they moved on to the refreshments which was really why most of the people showed up. The “important people” couldn’t be bothered mixing with everyone else. After all they are important people!! So they demanded that Jais Aben have a separate dinner & drinks for them. They numbered 80 and didn’t want to mingle with the people they just bullshitted throughout. They wanted to celebrate how wonderful they are – and on and on and on.

So with the masters of nonsense and bullshit in one area – and the masses in another folks got down to eating and getting drunk. The first signs it was going to get out of hand came early on as big mouths – usually those with the bigger bellies – trying to outshout each other to prove their worth.

The management at the Hotel saw where it was going and let everyone know the party was over at 7:30. After all they had spent the money the MRA bag man brought for the alcohol.

And to show how grateful they were to the police who were making sure things didn’t get too out of hand too early – the “leaders” gave 10 cases of alcohol to the boys in blue for a job well done.


And so as the circus ends and the clowns think they really pulled one over on the people – on the ground its a different story. As ZHAO SHIMIN smiles his way through the bullshit pleasing his masters back home things aren’t going as well on the ground.

Neither with landowners at both Basamuk and KBK, nor with their employees who are apparently becoming more and more “disenchanted” with the WORLD CLASSERS. Also the heavy rains in Madang the last couple of weeks is causing some problems isn’t it Mr. ZHAO???

And thinking with the holiday season with us and no one paying attention perhaps the WORLD CLASSERS can………………….. can what Mr. ZHAO! Be careful. People including your “supporters” and employees are going to hold you accountable -even if the folks bought off don’t.

And lastly dear readers it appears the NEW MoA is being reviewed by some influential people both within PNG and internationally. The fear is yup – the MoA may not be legal. And without going in to detail the word is if people didn’t read or know what they were signing – even the Landowner Companies – who do NOT represent the communities – as stated in Judge Cannings rulings – well then that’s a problem – not just morally but legally.

So stay tuned from up in Madang. And we haven’t even touched on the pollution and its effects in Basamuk Bay.

1 Comment

Filed under Environmental impact, Financial returns, Papua New Guinea

PNG politician slams Newcrest

Rowan Callick | The Australian

NEWCREST Mining is facing flak not only from its shareholders and from the price of gold slumping to a three-year low, but from political royalty in its main field of operations, Papua New Guinea.

Julius Chan, the governor of New Ireland province — where Newcrest, Australia’s biggest goldminer, operates one of its largest mines, Lihir Gold — has launched a surprisingly bitter attack on the company.

At a press conference, he called on Newcrest to leave the province, accusing it of deceit, arrogance and incompetence.

Sir Julius, a former prime minister and the father of Mining Minister Byron Chan, said he was “sick and tired” of hearing Newcrest say that the bottom has fallen out of the gold price.

“All I can say is, Newcrest is in trouble not because of the gold price, it is because of the lack of management,” he said.

Sir Julius was especially critical of Newcrest’s involvement in a scheme whereby resource companies receive PNG tax credits in return for providing agreed contributions to local infrastructure.

He said: “In 2011, Newcrest told us they would provide 157 million kina over five years for the tax credit scheme. Then, earlier this year, they told us there would have to be severe cuts in the scheme” — which, he said, New Ireland’s people had waited for 18 years to come on stream.

Sir Julius said: “When I met with the top management of Newcrest shortly after their takeover of Lihir in late 2010, I asked: ‘Have you done full due diligence on the purchase?’ and ‘Do you understand the failure of Lihir Gold to provide any benefits under the tax credit scheme for the past 15 years?’ ”

As prime minister, Sir Julius had described the Ok Tedi mine as PNG’s “pot of gold”. He now wants to review the mining regime to place landowners in the driving seat for approvals, and for receiving revenues.

A Newcrest spokesman said yesterday: “We are in discussions with Sir Julius, we meet with him on a regular basis, including on the tax credit scheme. Our position is that we are meeting our commitments under the scheme. And we have made significant contributions to the province and to Lihir” in recent years.

He said Sir Julius was present at a ceremony a fortnight ago to mark the handing over of about $1.8m for the upgrade of high schools in New Ireland, and that 11 other projects were under way in the first round of the tax credit scheme, as decided through a joint planning committee with the provincial government.

Further projects would follow. Even though the mine is not required to pay tax this year, chiefly because of the fall in the gold price, the spokesman said “we are still committed to the tax credit scheme projects”.

He said it was “absolutely commendable” that Sir Julius was “trying to secure resources for his province . . . But he should also understand that our commitments are being made and met.”


Filed under Financial returns, Papua New Guinea

MCC will still fall well short of full production in 2014

Ramu NiCo targets 70% design capacity in 2014

Post Courier

PAPUA New Guinea’s only nickel/cobalt developer and exporter, Ramu NiCo Management (MCC) Ltd is committed to reach 70 per cent of design capacity next year, according to Board Chairman and President, Mr Zhao Shimin. [Wow, 70% – not exactly WORLD CLASS is it!]

This follows the successful achievement of 50% design capacity target in October and November this year [50% = SUCCESSFUL, surely that is not the way they are judging it in Beijing…] despite the depressed world nickel metal price and technical bottleneck currently faced by the company.

“Our goals for 2014 are to add to the progress achieved in 2013 and reach 70 per cent of designed capacity while creating more benefits to our people and communities and reducing our impacts to environment. [What impacts? We thought you told the court there would be NO impacts?]

“As the board chairman I want to assure you that the company is committed to the long term success of the project, and that our Chinese and PNG stakeholders are standing firmly behind us,” Mr Zhao said.

However, Mr Zhao highlighted that the road to achieving the target design capacity is challenging with the drop in nickel market price from US$ 17,000 to US$14,000 per ton resulting in huge loss due to huge consumption and low production currently. [So this WORLD CLASS project is making big losses then!]

He also acknowledged that his company also faces technical bottleneck [technical bottleneck – you mean you don’t know what you are doing?] in the current production, however, the management is confident to overcome them with the support from its partners and stakeholders.


Filed under Environmental impact, Financial returns, Papua New Guinea