Melisha Yafoi | Post Courier | June 19, 2019
The steady decline in exploration activities particularly mineral exploration is a grave concern for the mining industry [but really for nobody else!].
PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum president Gerea Aopi said yesterday that the sector has been depressed and it is of grave concern for the chamber and the industry.
Mr Aopi said the decline threatens the sustainability of the mining industry which has been the back bone of PNG’s economy for more than three decades, adding that exploration is the lifeblood of a vibrant resource sector.
While commenting on this, he said they want to work more closely with the government on the revised Mining Act as it is an important policy that has taken more than a decade to complete.
Mr Aopi said the industry is concerned that some of the changes that have been proposed will have severe negative impacts on the immediate and long-term both existing and proposed projects, to the detriment of PNG’s economy.
“It is important that fiscal and regulatory settings achieve a balance between the expectations of the people, good governance of the nation’s mineral wealth, and the requirements for attracting long-term investments.
“A sound legislative framework provides for a fair distribution of returns between the developer and the state, security of tenure to its investors, and stability of investment terms,” he said.
Mr Aopi said recently the chamber and the mining industry together have contributed to the review currently being undertaken by the government on the country’s Mining (safety) Act and regulations.
“We are fully supportive of this process and are happy with the close collaboration we are having with the government on this review process.
Having an up to date regulation that ultimately promotes the safety of our mine workers and our operation is paramount,” he said.
“We are also ready to support the government’s vision to establish a petroleum resources authority. “We’ve stated publically that industry’s position on many occasions and our position remain steadfast.”
Mr Aopi said the establishment of a strong, robust and efficient regulator that is financially autonomous will have the capacity to promote increased oil and gas exploration and assist the government in regulating petroleum industry activities.