The government has delayed presenting the revised Mining Act to Parliament under heavy pressure from the foreign owned mining industry.
The revised Act is now being further amended to suit the likes of Barrick Gold, MCC, Harmony Gold, Newcrest Mining and, of course, Guandong Rising Assets Management (GRAM).
It is not hard to join the dots from the two stories below in today’s Post Courier newspaper…
Cabinet to gazette revised Mining Act
Gorethy Kenneth | Post Courier | August 10,2016
CABINET yesterday addressed the issue of getting the revised Mining Act 1992 approved which was reported in the newspapers yesterday.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill announced in Parliament yesterday that there are plans to appoint a senior ministerial committee that would discuss with the stakeholders on some of the concerns that are being raised on this issue.
But Mr O’Neill assured that the particular submission to review the Mining Act 1992 is now before Cabinet.
“Cabinet has already started deliberating on this matter and of course again we have received the representations from the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum raising some concerns about the mining proposal put forward by our people,” he said.
He was responding to questions raised by Chuave MP Wera Mori citing newspaper reports stating that Mining Secretary Shadrach Himata blamed the Chamber of Mines and Petroleum for being the stumbling block to getting the revised legislation approved.
But O’Neill defended that. “I want to assure the good Member that we will communicate with the industry, in fact the matter was discussed in Cabinet this morning but we have also deferred the discussions to next week because I want to put a senior Ministerial Committee that would discuss with the stakeholders on some of the concerns that are being raised. We have to iron out these concerns before we bring in the legislation.”
“This review has been going on since 2006, that was the first review that was conducted and it was stopped in 2009,” O’Neill said.
“I want to assure you that we are looking at this in a diligent manner, we want to be fair to everybody including investors Mr Speaker, without the investors large scale mines like Frieda and Wafi cannot be developed.”
Chamber wants mining law conducive to investment
Post Courier | August 10, 2016
The PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum says it wants a modern, internationally competitive mining legislation to underpin a world class industry and attract continued investments into the country.
The Chamber was responding to comments by secretary of the Department of Mineral Policy and Geo-hazard Management (DMPGM) Shadrack Himata who had accused it of being a blockage in getting the revised law approved.
In a statement released yesterday the Chamber said it and industry members had been involved in a lengthy discussion process with DMPGM in which they had made contributions drawing from the experience of its members operating in various countries.
Further, where required seeking independent and comparative analysis of the proposed changes to test its potential impact on the industry and the flow on impact to the overall economy.
“It is on the basis of those comparisons that the Chamber highlight edits significant concerns with the changes being proposed for the Mining Act.”
The Chamber said that the proposed changes to the Mining Act would cost Papua New Guinea billions in State revenue, millions of kina in landowner and stakeholder benefits, thousands of jobs and will also have drastic impacts on social development such as health, education and training, impact the growth of Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and landowner businesses by driving away much needed direct foreign investment.
It said planned future projects like the Frieda River, and the Wafi-Golpu projects will also be impacted by the proposed Mining Act, rendering them economically unviable.
The Chamber said despite repeatedly raising these issues and making detailed explanations of their impacts, the DMPGM was not able or not willing to fully consider the impacts.
It also believes the proposed Mining Act will severely impact the attractiveness of PNG as a mineral exploration and development destination with these impacts to be felt throughout the PNG economy in the short, medium and long term.
“As the PNG economy is experiencing, as we go through weak economic conditions, the importance of maintaining large scale economic projects and the investments they bring becomes paramount.