Schizophrenic MRA dancing for its colonial masters

Whoever is in charge of the agenda at the Mineral Resource Authority it surely isn’t anyone with an ounce of sanity or the best interests of PNG in their heart.

Yesterday MRA was all over the media saying it couldn’t cope with task of managing mine waste at PNG’s existing mines and needed overseas aid to help it get control of the problem before four new huge mines come on stream … Wafi, bigger than Ok Tedi, Frieda, Yandera and Mt Kare plus two others…

So why at the same time is MRA putting huge resources (money and staff time) into updating its survey data so it can attract yet more foreign mining companies into the country to plunder our resources…

MRA admits it can’t cope with the existing ten mines, yet it is ploughing ahead with six more (and bugger the consequences for the luckless local people) and at the same time it is putting efforts into ATTRACTING EVEN MORE new mines.

MADNESS if you care about the people of PNG but great news for all the foreign mining companies!!!

MRA is out exploring for its colonial masters while communities suffer the impacts of current mining

MRA is out exploring for its colonial masters while communities suffer the uncontrolled impacts of current mines

MRA progressing to update geophysical data 

Post Courier

The Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) is making good progress on its programs to acquire new geological data and update existing ones to attract mineral investment into the country.

At present the MRA through its Geological Survey Division (GSD) is into its final phase of acquiring geophysical data over the Western PNG border with Indonesia.

The geophysical datasets, comprising magnetic and radiometric data when acquired and processed, will provide useful information on possible exploration targets that could be prospective mineralized areas. These areas could be further explored as possible mineral deposits, by interested investors.

So far over 20,000 line kilometers of data have already been acquired with a further 10 000 line kilometers is yet to be acquired. It is expected that the program which commenced in September last year, will take another 12 weeks to complete.

Such surveys and ultimately acquisition of such data is normally left to individual companies to carryout using their own resources and funds. But with the down turn in commodity prices, mineral exploration activity in the country has almost come to a halt with most exploration companies shelving their exploration projects.

The MRA sees the current survey as an incentive to companies as it believes that by acquiring data and having the datasets easily accessible to companies, it will attract and encourage mineral investment in the country.

The survey area is strategically located between the huge Ok Tedi porphyry copper deposit and the potentially huge Frieda River porphyry Cu-Au project. It covers an area of 14,110 square kilometers to be covered by 30, 745 line kilometers data.

The survey is being flown by GPX Surveys of Western Australia which was awarded the contract in 2014 to fly the area . The final datasets will be released towards the end of 2015.

Meanwhile, the National Geochemical Sampling Program will also be undertaken soon in collaboration with China Geological Survey (CGS). This is a program that has similar aims to that of the airborne geophysical survey, and that is to identify mineralized areas in the country.

The project is aimed at collecting geological and related data which will then be packaged for marketing and investment promotional purposes with the aim to attract mining investment into the country.

The program will cover the whole country and will run between May-August beginning with the New Guinea Islands Region (excluding the Autonomous Region of Bougainville) and MilneBay Province.

Pre-field preparations are continuing at this stage. East New Britain, Manus and Milne Bay Provinces have been visited in the past weeks, where reconnaissance has been carried out and awareness made to the provincial and local level government officials.

Another program which was recently completed is the Wau/Biaru (Morobe Province) Geological Mapping exercise. This program was conducted by the Geological Mapping and Mineral Exploration Branch.

This was an exercise which involved geological data collection to update the old and existing geological maps of the area. The map of this region and most regions of the country were done almost 40 years ago hence the need to update data. Field work involved collection of rock samples and geological data.

After the final editing of the map is completed, it will be made available to the industry stakeholders and public. In May the branch will embark on similar mapping projects within the Goilala region of Central Province.

7 Comments

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

7 responses to “Schizophrenic MRA dancing for its colonial masters

  1. Fred Hela

    MRA, isn’t it controlled by foreign mining companies with their long time foreigners in the board, pretending they are doing something good for the nation but in actual fact filling their pockets for life after. Hopefully one of these days, all be exposed for who they really are.

    • Mary-Anne Michaels

      Mr. Hela you really need to get your information correct on the composition of the MRA Board, read the MRA Act 2005. The Board comprises of persons from the Government Departments as well as the private sector.

      • Fred Hela

        So,really you think I don’t know what goes on and who controls the board. When real resource owners continue to be on the loosing side, when they live in conditions worse than refuge camps, isn’t that a sign of non functional, self seeking individuals. I would say your much praised board must be too interested in their little pockets while people are suffering. Could that also mean the board be made up of “YES MASTER” type ?,

  2. A really stupid ignorant and deliberately misleading comment from Fred Hella!
    The MRA and the MAC constituted thereunder is a far better and more functional administrative arrangement than 95% of what one might find elsewhere on the planet.

    • Fred Hela

      Stupid, ignorant you think, pngblozn but show me the results, show me the evidence of landownre/resource owners benefiting from their resources from your more functional administrative arrangement as you state, Otherwise it’s life as usual, you enjoying life with your foreign, so called investors, while people suffer. It looks like, you really don’t know what goes on in the real world of big corporations though you think you do.

  3. This article was clearly written by a person with an ax to grind.
    Its completely absurd when one considers the actual subject matter it is proportion to respond to.

  4. Fred Hela

    Classic example of greedy miners. Where is MRA and govt here, still sleeping, still enjoying their little titles which really don’t produce results. Don’t they understand we OWN the resources and we dont have to pay for 30percent? This is all the grab that smarties like Craig Jones spews out thinking for some reason he and his greedy lot own OUR resources.

    Miners insist on State acquiring 30% equity
    April 01,2015, 01:32 am
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    Miners insist on State acquiring 30% equity
    The Mining industry is keen to maintain the current arrangements regarding the State’s right to purchase up to 30 percent participating interest in new mining projects.

    Representing the industry, Craig Jones, the executive general manager for Australian operations and projects of Newcrest Mining Ltd, told a taxation workshop last Thursday that this is well understood and accepted by the industry and the government to see the state exercise its right to acquire up to 30 per cent interest in significant mine developments in the mineral sector.

    However, he also said the industry does not support any changes of increase in the current taxation burden on the resource sector.

    “We are strongly of the view that any increase in the current tax burden will not only adversely affect the industry, but have a corresponding negative impact on state revenues from the sector,” said Jones.

    He stressed that PNG already has high tax rates equivalent to other resource rich countries, and in context to the environment mining companies operate, he said PNG is not a low taxing environment.

    “Mining and petroleum sectors already make a significant direct and indirect contribution to the PNG economy. “The level of indirect taxes and community contributions in PNG is high by international standards and the economic multiplier effect, which means that overall impacts of taxes and other contributions by the sector are substantial by any measure.”

    He also stressed that there is a substantial body of evidence that shows unequivocally that any increases in tax burden will be counterproductive.

    “It really does underpin the importance of adopting, implementing and efficiently managing an internationally competitive and stable regulatory framework for the mineral sector,” he told the tax workshop.

    He said looking forward, it is also of note that the PNG Development Strategic Plan 2010-2030 aims to more than double the mining operations by 2030, which is an important point that needs to be kept in front of the mind in the current deliberation of tax and state equity participation that applies to the resource sector.

    “To achieve this goal, PNG needs to be seen as a preferred destination and policy should be structured to differentiate PNG from other resource rich nations to attract investors.”

    He said the resource sector is an important contributor to PNG, making up 75 per cent of PNG’s total earnings and furthermore highlighted that PNG’s current tax regime is robust and the current mineral tax regime is effective in collecting revenue.

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