Monthly Archives: October 2018

Upstream LNG Landowners ‘Left In The Dark’ On Benefits

There have been years of complaints of a lack of benefits coming from the LNG project. Photo: RNZI/Johnny Blades

Simon Keslep | Post Courier | October 30, 2018

The Paguale Kekero Resources Landowners Association of Southern Highlands province has raised their concerns regarding benefits of the Liquefied Natural Gas project.

Yesterday association general sectary Paul Kewai Ipakasa and chairman Simon Kayako told Post-Courier their people especially 11 major clans including a total population of over two thousand people are left in the dark on LNG project benefits (royalty and equity payment).

They were referring to statements by Mineral Resource Development Company managing director Augustine Mano and published by this paper last week (October 25, page 20) “PNG LNG pipeline landowners to receive benefits-MRDC.”

The two raised concerns on issues regarding no agreement signed by them under the Umbrella Benefits Sharing Agreement despite gas pipelines under the Greenfield and future generation’s benefits without guarantee.

“Since 2009 till now there were no agreements under Umbrella Benefits Sharing Agreement despite having gas pipeline passing through our land,” said Mr Ipakasa.

According to Mr Ipakasa they come under segment 4 and spin-off benefits for their future generations remains uncertain.

The two called upon MRDC to consider their issue and put business agreements in order especially to fully benefit landowners whose land has gas pipelines passing through.

In relation to Mr Mano’s comments in the article referred to, he explained that while the pipeline determinations have already been made by the minister in reference to the onshore 300 kilometres of the entire 400 km pipeline, those areas not in dispute are being processed and assisted for the flow of benefits.

“There are eight (pipeline) segments which ministerial determination has been made for those areas where there are no disputes.”

“These are the ones we are going to proceed with their preparations of opening up their account, appointment of their board and then start making payments,” Mr Mano said in the report.

He made comments in a previous interview that for upstream pipeline landowners it has been a huge obstacle and that MRDC was aware of landowner frustration, however, mentioned that the areas that are still in dispute will be overlooked and carry on with the ones that are not in dispute pending their outcomes.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Financial returns, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

Industry to reveal real owners of mining companies by 2020

The National aka The Loggers Times | October 30, 2018

Papua New Guinea is set to reveal real owners of extractive companies.

This comes after the conclusion of an Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) roadshow on beneficial ownership disclosure in Madang recently.

A beneficial owner in respect of a company means the natural person(s) who directly or indirectly owns or controls a corporate entity.

A beneficial owner is always the living, breathing human being who ultimately profits from the company’s activities, or controls the company’s activities. It is never a company, other legal entity, or a nominee/proxy.

A roadmap is being executed by KPMG – the roadmap implementation manager – to develop a reporting matrix to feature beneficial owners in PNGEITI reports starting 2020, as required by the EITI global standard.

Head of National Secretariat of EITI Lucas Alkan said: “By 2020, companies applying for or holding a participatory interest in an exploration or production of an oil, gas or mining license or contract in an EITI country must report the details of the beneficial owner, (ie the human beings who own, control or substantially benefit from these companies and interests), as well as identifying any ‘politically exposed persons’ with a direct engagement in regulating, setting laws, tax rates, negotiating contracts etc.

“More than 50 EITI member countries have published their plans for how to disclose the real owners of companies in their extractive industries, which will require establishing legal and institutional arrangements for application, including establishing registers of such real owners.

“The Madang roadshow was part of implementation of a BO roadmap to identify an appropriate reporting process to enable PNGEITI name beneficial owners in its reports.

“We had presentations from Mineral Resources Authority, Department of Petroleum, Bank of Papua New Guinea, Investment Promotion Authority, PNGEITI National Secretariat, Institute of National Affairs and the BO Roadmap Implementation Manager KPMG.

“I commend the MSG constituents and other relevant State agencies for their presentations and discussions on issues relating to revealing beneficial owners in EITI reports and the approach going forward.

“As required by the EITI global best practice standard – to report the ‘beneficial owners’ in 2020 like other EITI implementing countries – I am positive that PNG will have been fully prepared by then to meet this important reporting requirement.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Corruption, Financial returns, Papua New Guinea

Bougainvilleans want Filipino miner out of their ancestral land

Jarius Bondoc | The Philippine Star | October 29, 2018

A Filipino miner is causing social unrest in the Pacific island of Bougainville, the same way he stirred up Mindanao tribesmen against his mining. Tens of thousands of Bougainville natives are livid that SR Metals Inc., owned by Eric Gutierrez, is to log and consequently extract copper. Central authorities in Papua New Guinea are being asked why an outsider has been allowed into the Panguna forest. Foreign mining in Panguna had triggered a ten-year civil war, 1988-1998, that claimed the lives of 20,000 people. Since then Panguna has been declared a “no-go zone.”

Gutierrez’s SRMI up to recently was extracting nickel in the mountains of Tubay, Agusan del Norte. Dispossessed Lumad had opposed his 20 years of supposed small-scale mining that actually exceeded legal limits. It also denuded forests in and beyond its 128-hectare concession. Three thousand tribe folk and lowlanders had petitioned for SRMI’s closure, to no avail. Their lawyer was assassinated in broad daylight and a protesting priest falsely accused of rape. Violent clashes spread to other mines in other towns over the years, during which 68 tribesmen were killed.

SRMI claims to have received exploration rights from Papua president John Momis, a defrocked Catholic priest. Gutierrez’s partner, Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice was reported to have said they are moving all their equipment from Agusan to Bougainville. Supposedly the government in that Papuan territory welcomes them into 183 square kilometers of forest and proven copper mines.

Bougainville tribe leader Cletus Miarama disputed them, however. “SR Metals did not have free and informed consent to go into our customary land and explore,” he declared. “They are going into our customary land without our permission. They are even also going into our sacred sites.” The battle scarred Bougainville natives never surrendered to the superior government forces. Their civil strife ended in stalemate, and can reignite for the same exploitation of Panguna natural resources.

SRMI gradually closed down during the first two years of the Duterte administration. At least thrice during the 2016 presidential campaign and five times thereafter President Duterte publicly denounced Gutierrez as a destructive, abusive miner. The BIR presently is investigating SRMI for unpaid taxes from P28-billion in ore exports to China. In 2008, the Supreme Court found the mine guilty of over-extracting nickel from its yearly 50,000-ton ore limit.

Gutierrez had found favor with the Aquino administration as financier of the then-ruling Liberal Party, and Erice as spokesman. President Noynoy Aquino reportedly signed as witness for SRMI to recompense original Tubay mine licensee Rodney Basiana P1 billion, a debt that was never paid. Aquino also twice awarded SRMI for supposed responsible mining.

2 Comments

Filed under Environmental impact, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

Landowners oppose Lae’s coal-fired project

“We landowners of the Markham Valley, people of Papua New Guinea, we do not want coal-fired power or coal mining in our country”.

The National aka The Loggers Times | October 26, 2018

Markham Valley biomass landowners from Morobe have resisted the coal-fired project in Lae, spearheaded by Energy Minister Sam Basil and Lae MP John Rosso.

They travelled to Port Moresby this week to hold meetings with PNG Power Ltd and Government departments over the delay with the biomass project to which they have committed land.

Chairman Sam Meyab, of the Zif Faring Business Group, said yesterday the landowners wanted to show their support for the PNG Biomass project and to confront PPL, Energy Minister Sam Basil and Treasurer Charles Abel over the delay.

“The politicians think coal is the answer,” he said.

“We landowners of the Markham Valley, people of Papua New Guinea, we do not want coal-fired power or coal mining in our country.

“We want a clean, renewable, healthy future for our children.

“Coal has no place in PNG.

“We want renewable biomass to power our homes, not dirty coal.

“We want healthy lives, not a polluting coal-powered plant in Lae.

“We want our Government to honour its commitments – to us, to the developer, to the country, to the world.”
Meyab said the biomass project had all licences and permits, approvals and a signed power-purchasing agreement with PPL.

“We know that the biomass project sponsor Oil Search Ltd wants this project to go ahead,” he said.

2 Comments

Filed under Environmental impact, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

Ministers and bureaucrats set for tax payer funded Xmas shopping in Sydney

Christmas shopping in Sydney for Ministers and mining sector public servants will once again be funded by the PNG tax-payer.

PNG’s Premier International Conference Set For December

Post Courier | October 25, 2018

PAPUA New Guinea’s premier international conference, the PNG Mining and Petroleum Investment Conference will be staged this year in Sydney, Australia from December 3 to 5.

Hosted by the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum, this will be the 15th conference that has been held outside of PNG primarily for potential investors and major players in the mining and petroleum industry.

More than 700 delegates and exhibitors from resource and service companies, government organisations, landowner groups, international investors and financiers, and aid organisations are expected to attend the conference.

Themed PNG Resources Industry: Investment and Partnership to enable PNG’s Growth and Development, the conference will once again showcase the exciting developments occurring in PNG’s resource sectors, as well as highlights from PNG APEC 2018. It will also provide a comprehensive technical update on the current and proposed projects, new discoveries and exploration.

The event offers an excellent opportunity to meet all the players in the PNG mining and petroleum industry, including financiers, government, service companies and contractors, and for joint venture discussions, networking and promotions.

Highlights will include the performance and proposed expansion of the world class PNG LNG Project, progress of the planned Papua LNG project based on the major Elk-Antelope gas fields, as well as updates on the mega-sized Wafi-Golpu and Frieda River copper-gold prospects.

The conference comes directly after the APEC 2018 Leaders’ week.

Outcomes and successes of this global forum will be highlighted for the first time in the mining and petroleum conference and will be a feature of the overall event.

Key government Ministers will continue their post APEC partying in Sydney

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, will deliver the opening address followed by speeches during the event from Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Charles Abel, Mining Minister Johnson Tuke, Petroleum Minister Dr Fabian Pok, Minister for Communication, Information Technology & Energy Sam Basil, Environment and Conservation Minister John Pundari and Minister Responsible for APEC Justin Tkatchenko.

In focus also will be the structure of the PNG resources industry’s fiscal regime and the management of landowner benefits and growth in business development opportunities.

Experiences from the international firm Arctic Slope Regional Corporation a locally owned Alaskan conglomerate will highlight their achievements and challenges in managing a sustainable community business.

Mr Tkatchenko will speak on the outcomes and successes of the PNG APEC 2018.

The conference will also feature an international guest speaker Professor Paul Stevens, a distinguished fellow at Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London.

Prof Stevens will be providing valuable insight into the global oil and gas market, with focus on the outlook for PNG and its new developments. He is also a professor emeritus at the University of Dundee and has published extensively on energy economics, the international petroleum industry and economic development issues, among others.

Leave a comment

Filed under Papua New Guinea

Impact of Industrial & Economic Development on the Environment

 

“We do not inherit the earth from our parents; we borrow it from our children”….North American Indian proverb.

Pope Francis once said: “Destroying the Earth is Sin”. 

“Safeguard Creation,” he said, “because if we destroy Creation, Creation will destroy us!”

“Creation is not a property, which we can rule over at will; or, even less, is the property of only a few: Creation is a gift, it is a wonderful gift that God has given us, so that we care for it and we use it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude,”

Leo Nainoka | Social Empowerment & Education Program (SEEP) | 25 October 2018

The over-riding concerns of the Church and certain NGOs like SEEP has been centered on the inequitable distribution of the Earth’s resources.

We would like to focus our attention on the greatest victim of unjust decisions – the rural communities.

One of the themes of Social Justice is “Stewardship of Creation” and it is very important to take note of what Pope Francis said “Creation is a gift that God has given us so that we care for it and we use it for the benefit of all.”

There are still so many proposed extractions, gravel extraction on rivers and logging being planned in Fiji.

There are so many in the tenement list and maps by the mineral resources department. There is a plan to mine bauxite in Wainunu, Bua. There is magnetite mining earmarked for Sigatoka river by Dome and Gusunituba river in Votua, Ba by Amex. There is ongoing bauxite mining in Dreketi.

There is also plan to mine Namosi of Gold and copper but the Tikina Namosi landowners Committee are holding up well and of cause there is a plan to mine gold in Tuvatu, Sabeto.

Before every mine plan is given the green light there needs to be proper EIA – Environment Impact Assessment process conducted by independent consultants and Fisheries Impact Assessment for gravel extraction and harvesting code of practice for logging

We must first of all examine our ideas on development. Those who are proposing these kinds of development must first of all understand the meaning of development. What really does development mean to us?

Women of Votua selling crabs

While it is true to say that buildings, equipment and money are useful and necessary for development purposes we must be really careful to remind ourselves that development must focus on human beings and not things like infrastructure and so forth. The core of development has to be people centered.

Early French Philosopher, writer and historian – Francois Marie Arouet, well known as Voltaire once said “Don’t think money does everything, or you are going to end up doing everything for money”

In a Globalized world that we are living in, there is more hunger for more money instead of focusing more on human beings.

The focus of every development initiative should be people. Sustainable development is development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the needs of the future generation’s.

The village of Votua, Ba are not really happy on how their “qoliqoli” will be used to extract black sand or magnetite.

In the Fiji Times of 9th July, 2018 it was reported that “Villagers are still in the dark on black sand extraction”. It went on to say that “some villagers of Votua in Ba claim they have been in the dark regarding black sand extraction in Ba River which according to locals the real name of the river is “Gusunituba

The village of Votua has three clans – Yavusa Narai , Yavusa Nadua and Yavusa Balavu. The heads of these three clans told us, Social Empowerment & Education Program – SEEP that “they said yes only to exploration” not extraction.

The location of the extraction site is a food bank and livelihood for the people of Votua, Ba. It has contributed to their daily sustenance, education for their children, their community hall, their church and their school.

Proposed extraction site

The three heads of clans are asking the Government to put a stop to this project for the sake of their people, not only for themselves but for their future generation as well.

Awareness raising and community education are extremely important in relation to conservation of fresh water and sea water resources.

This topic also warrants attention in school curricula and adult education programs, including health awareness programs. Again the Churches should play a leading role in encouraging understanding and commitment.

There were no proper due diligence conducted with the people of Votua, Nawaqarua and nearby settlements. There was no free, prior and informed consent.

Free Prior and Informed  Consent is an extraction of UNDRIP for all Indigenous peoples of the world and the right of all Indigenous peoples to be fully informed and to reject or give their consent based on their own collective decision making process to any project that concerns them.

All facts must be shared to the communities where they can base their decision and agreement by the people is without force or manipulation by outside parties or the State.

The indigenous people have their right to their land and their resources and must be free from hazardous materials. They have the right to redress.

According to the people of Votua Village, their Marine resources are very important to their daily needs.

They also said that if these extraction project is given the green light it will drastically threatened their livelihood and very disruptive to coral reefs nearby. Several saltwater and freshwater species are endangered by this unsustainable practice. According to experts extraction causes profound effects on biodiversity.

Makereta Ranadi and Mikaele Seru – looking for crabs to sell

Mangroves are largely found on both sides of the river bank in Gusunituba, Votua, Ba. If these mangroves are lost or if there are mangrove canopies, this will result in diminishing the values of subsistence and commercial fishing by the community of Votua, Nawaqarua and nearby settlements.

Fish, crabs, land crabs, reef fish, prawns, mud crabs, turtles, ark shell, freshwater mussels and other varieties of resources from the river and the seafront can all be threatened if this project is given the green light to go ahead. The environment and the economy are two sides of the same coin.

Most local communities all over the world are resisting environmental destruction of their local habitats and communities but it will be good for the Government and companies to engage with communities like Votua, Ba and provide awareness and bring them on board to understand the effects of this project on their culture, their social lives, the degradation to their environment and their livelihood and how it will have an impact on our weather patterns.

The Social Empowerment & Education Program – SEEP together with communities of Votua, Nawaqarua and nearby settlements believes and hope that good sense and wisdom will prevail, allow for proper consultation and let the communities understand the effects on their environments, their social lives, culture and give them the space to properly discuss these and make their own decision whether to mine or not to mine.

Leave a comment

Filed under Environmental impact, Fiji, Human rights

Communities reject planned Frieda river mine

Ambunti on the the Sepik River

“most of the river communities in Ambunti, Wosera-Gawi and Angoram have responded negatively”

By Clifford Faiparik | The National aka The Loggers Times | 22 October 2018

East Sepik Governor Allan Bird, pictured, says many communities along the Sepik River have expressed concerns about environmental impacts that will be brought about by the Frieda River mine.

Bird said this yesterday in response to reports of a team from the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) carrying out awareness on the mine along the Sepik River.

“Most of the river communities in Ambunti, Wosera-Gawi and Angoram have responded negatively to a team of officers from Mineral Resources Authority who were there to do awareness on the mine,” Bird said.

“Villagers tend to become suspicious of government officers conducting awareness on a project that will affect their environment.

“They are also suspicious that they will not get economic benefits from such impact projects, although the government officers had portrayed a promising economic and social benefits package to them in the awareness.

“MRA officers had been conducting awareness for two weeks amongst villagers along the river about the economic and social benefits from the Frieda mine.”

The mine is at Telefomin in West Sepik.

Meanwhile, the MRA officers said they had encountered some “misunderstandings” while conducting awareness.

“We were advised not to conduct awareness in those villages,” one of the officers said.

“This misunderstanding was created by a non-government organisation that was there earlier on conducting awareness on the mine.”

1 Comment

Filed under Human rights, Mine construction, Papua New Guinea