Matthew Vari| Post Courier | March 16, 2020
NEGOTIATIONS into Morobe’s Wafi-Golpu project is still pending according to project joint venture partner Newcrest Mining Limited.
Newcrest Mining PNG country manager Mr Stanley Komunt said this in response this paper queries in relation to comments made by Mining Minister Johnson Tuke last month on government’s intention to resumes negotiation following the dismissal of the memorandum of understanding in court case relating to the project.
Mr Komunt said the main reason for uncertainty was the relays [sic] in the proposed revised mining act, which is still yet to be passed by government and how concerns raised may be factored into the amended act.
“We from the JV’s point of view have not made a commitment as yet to progress any discussions.
“There is a couple of reasons why and number one is more to do with the current discussions on the revised mining bill.
“We really don’t know where that is going to end. Whilst the Prime Minister has given us, the industry and SNT (State Negotiating Team) team to go and back and since our meeting in January 17 in Brisbane.
“He has given us two months and we have been meeting last month now and we are slowly getting there but there is still some major, not so much disagreement, but misalignment I would say,” Mr Komunt pointed out.
Komunt pointed out other particulars also in the air such as benefit sharing, royalty and contracts have all been relayed to the minister responsible for mining.
“Whilst we appreciate, the company, not only us but the industry appreciates that country needs to get a better share and we want to make sure that is realized through the negotiations that we will have.
“We are not quite there yet to start the negotiations for Wafi. We have relayed that to the minister.
“Because if the revised mining act changes it will have an impact on the project economics and how we have done our planning and that is a major concern and we can’t do anything.
Prime Minister Marape has indicated his government is set on delivering the project, a point Komunt added the PM is well aware and supportive of an understanding going forward.