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 progressing to update geophysical data
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.