So Newcrest and Harmony signed a deal with the O’Neill government that stitched up the landowners and the country – but nobody gets held accountable once again. Not the bureaucrats, not the politicians and certainly not the mining company executives and their lawyers!
Cedric Patjole | Loop PNG | January 31, 2020
The Memorandum of Understanding between the former O’Neill-led coalition government and the Wafi -Golpu Joint Venture will be eliminated.
Prime Minister James Marape revealed this at the Back to Business Breakfast event in Port Moresby.
The MOU signed in December 2018 established the framework for the parties to progress the permitting of the Wafi-Golpu Project ‘as quickly as practicable’ with a view to achieving a Special Mining Lease by 30 June 2019.
However, the Morobe Provincial Government rejected the move, taking the matter to court and stalling the Wafi-Golpu Mine from maturing.
Prime Minister Marape revealed to the business community that the MoU would be eliminated.
“Some of you might be interested on what is happening with Wafi-Gopu, one of our lowest hanging fruits, and let me thank Harmony and Newcrest for their patience,” said Marape.
“But they also know that the MOU that they signed with the previous government was a show stopper. That MOU was signed outside of the normal protocols of Government.
“And so we are in the businesses of now eliminating that MOU, and they have agreed to eliminate that MOU, and so, we’re now having discussions with our provincial government and our landowners and very soon, Wafi-Golpu will be a project that is moving towards maturity.”
Since the move by the Morobe Provincial Government and the ongoing permitting delays, WGJV has reduced its planned work program and manpower.