UPDATE ON FREIDA MINE
G.Ramoi | PNG BLOGS
Officials of GRAM [Guangdong Rising Asset Management], the New Owners of Pan Aust Ltd, Charged Under Official Corruption in CHINA.
Over the week end while in Singapore I received new of grave concern regarding the arrest on corruption Charges against the Chairman and a number of leading Directors of Guangdong Asset Management Ltd.
It was reported over the week end that on Saturday the 17th of this Month the Guandong Prosecutors office arrested Mr.Xie Liang who is the Party member and Deputy General Manager of GRAM for official corruption.
It was also reported that GRAM is one of 13 Companies in Guagnadong under investigation by the Office of Public Prosecutor for stock Market manupulation. In September last year Mr.Zhong Jin Song the Former General Manager of GRAM was cited by the Party for serious disciplinary violation and in January this year , the ex Chairman of GRAM Mr.Li Jin Ming was expelled from the Party due also to serious violation and Disciplinary issues.
Now if this information is correct it should lead immediately to the Register of Mines moving quickly in protecting PNG National Interest in ensuring that any application before it by Pan Aust Ltd to extend its Exploration Licence over Frieda River and in particular any attempt by Pan Aust Ltd to extend EL 58 should be rejected out right and the matter immediately referred to Cabinet through the Ministerial Economic Ministers Committee for consideration on the way forward with respect to the development of the Frieda River Gold & Copper Mine.
The Current State of Play
In 2013 Xstrata Glencore Ltd entered into a deed of sale with Pan Aust Ltd to buy the Exploration licences over the Frieda River Deposits valued at US$125 million. PanAust Ltd deposited US25million in August 2014 nad took control of the Frieda River project . According to the terms of the deed of sale by November 2015 Pan Aust ltd must pay another US$50 million to Xstrata Glencore. Readers of this blog will note that Pan Aust earlier this year went ahead and sold the Frieda asset together with the entire company for over US$380 million to GRAM of China. GRAM of China is now for all intent and purpose the new owner of the Frieda Deposit.
Now with this grave news coming out of China regarding GRAM , t is in the best interest of the State to once and for all reign in control and sovereignty over the Frieda Deposit by putting its foot down by rejecting any attempt to extend the exploration licence over the Frieda Deposit by GRAM or any other player and for the state to take over the licences and to develop this resources itself utilising a number of Models available to it including Contract Mining or production sharing regime as opposed to the rent based regime .