Category Archives: Financial returns

Tussle over HPL’s future control and the Frieda river mine

hpl

See also: Frieda river mining companies involved in internal war

Post Courier | February 27, 2017

A RIFT has developed between Highlands Pacific Limited (HPL) and its shareholder, Chinese group Guangdong Rising Assets Management Co Ltd (GRAM), over the future control of the Papua New Guinea company.

HPL says it is a battle with potentially major ramifications for its multi-billion kina PNG projects, including Frieda River, Ramu Nickel and Star Mountains.

Last week, GRAM subsidiary PanAust, which owns a 14 percent stake in HPL, had demanded a meeting of HPL’s shareholders to remove four of the company’s five non-executive independent directors and replace them with three GRAM nominees.

HPL argued the highly aggressive move would deliver GRAM control of the firm which was valued at about A$60 million (K146 million), without GRAM having paid anything to the other shareholders of the company that collectively hold 86 percent.

The move also would deliver GRAM essentially full, unassailable control of the giant US$6 billion (K19bn) Frieda River project in West Sepik Province. HPL and GRAM are joint venture partners in the project, with GRAM holding an 80 percent interest and HPL 20 percent.

HPL also holds an 8.56 percent interest in the Ramu Nickel project, as well as a major shareholding in the ‘exciting’ Star Mountains exploration project.

HPL directors had opposed GRAM demands, stating that handing control of the Company to GRAM/PanAust would not be in the interests of its shareholders.

Chairman Ken MacDonald said the GRAM/PanAust proposal effectively amounted to a takeover of Highlands without offering to pay shareholders.

HPL managing director Craig Lennon said the future of Highlands was vitally important for the development of its projects, and could have serious economic implications for PNG.

“We want to see these projects, especially the Frieda River project, develop in a timely fashion, creating potentially enormous economic benefits for PNG by creating jobs, generating revenues for government and earning foreign exchange income,” he said.

“With Highlands remaining as an independent company, we have the best chance of achieving that outcome.”

The special meeting to consider the matter would be held in Port Moresby, and shareholders would vote on the proposals to remove four of the five non-executive independent directors including the chairman.

The two directors who GRAM is not trying to remove for now are the managing director Craig Lennon and Bart Philemon, the highly respected former treasury minister.

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Filed under Exploration, Financial returns, Mine construction, Papua New Guinea

Landholders say more LNG protests are imminent

Delays in royalty payments are frustrating landowners

Delays in royalty payments are frustrating landowners

Jeffrey Elapa | Post Courier | February 23,2017

MORE landowner protests are imminent as the Government continues to neglect them and delay payments that they rightfully deserve.

In addition to the protest plan by the PNG LNG plant site landowners, the upstream landowners also plan to protest and shut down the PNG LNG project after continuous delay by the Government in releasing their funds.

The concern was brought to the Minister for Petroleum and Energy Nixon Duban yesterday but he did not respond.

Hides PDL 7 landowners Umbrella Association chairman Chris Payabe said it is really frustrating for the Government to continue to delay all payments, including the recent payment of K35 million for the Hides landowners.

He said the K35 million is a commitment made to the landowners in order for them to open the gate to the PNG LNG condensation plant and other vital projects by the disgruntled landowners. He said through a MOA signed by the State, MRDC and Kumul Petroleum Holdings with the landowners in Hides, the payment was to be made within two weeks, but since August 18 last year the landowners are still waiting as the Government continues to play its delay tactics.

He said the court order O/S 196 is related to the payment of IDG for 2013 and not related to any other funding and the Government should not mislead the people.

“The plaintiffs to the matter Robert Mai and the respondent the Hela Provincial Government through its legal officer had cleared the payment of the K35m as it does not relate to the IDGs, or any other issues such as the Agore lands issues and payments, therefore we want our payment to be made to us instead of giving excuses.

“We also want ExxonMobil to talk to the State as they are the ones party to the project as their failure would have serious repercussions on the projects as we are ready to stop the project. ExxonMobil should not take a back stage but should negotiate with the state to have our payments settled,” he said.

Mr Payabe said they also want the K6.8 million payments from the Department of Petroleum and Energy while other important commitments are still pending.

“The state should not give us any more excuses but tell us if they are going to pay us or not. If they have money or not so we know the reason for the delay as there is no court matter stopping the payment of the K35 million and the K6.8 million payments,” he said.

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Exxon Mobil to continue operations at LNG site

Aerial view of the LNG processing site

Jacklyn Sirias | The National aka The Loggers Times | February 21, 2017

EXXONMOBIL PNG will continue operations despite the protest by landowners against the Government over royalty payments, according to a spokesperson.

Landowners from the four impacted villages – Papa, Lealea, Boera and Porebada – gathered in front of the LNG site yesterday, blocked the gate and main road.

They want the Government to pay the royalties due to them.

Spokesperson Chief Nao Nao claimed that they had not been paid royalties since May 2014.

A spokesperson for ExxonMobil said their primary concern was the safety of their staff and the community.

“We are monitoring the peaceful protest outside the LNG plant in Central and continue to engage with the relevant landowner groups,” the spokesperson said.

“We are continuing to do everything we can to facilitate communication between all parties.

“We respect the right of individuals to peacefully protest. But we also encourage continued dialogue between landowners and the government to resolve their outstanding issues.

“We hope the landowners and the Government can resolve this situation promptly and in an amicable manner.”

Meanwhile, Central police were monitoring the protest yesterday.

Central Police Commander Chief Inspector Laimo Asi said he had already warned the chiefs and leaders of the villages to control their people.

He said they would be held responsible if anything went wrong.

“If anything goes wrong, the leaders will be held responsible. I’ve already warned them,” Asi said.

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Police say LNG protests illegal

PNG police have no respect for people's right to protest

Exxon-Mobil says it respects people’s right to protest – unlike PNG police who love to label any attempt at free speech as “illegal”

Freddy Mou | Loop PNG | February 20, 2017

Provincial Police Commander for Central Province, Superintendent, Laimo Asi has condemned the protest by landowners of portion 152 at the PNG LNG plant site today.

Asi said there is no approval given by authorities to stage the protest.

The PPC, who was at the site this morning told Loop PNG that he had warned landowners not to cause any damage to the plant site but to allow the operation to continue as normal.

He had advised them that the protest was illegal and while the landowners have been reluctant to back off, they promised to do it peacefully.

Asi said his men are on the ground to protect facilities and to ensure the protest does not turn rowdy.

As of the writing of this report, landowners have not taken any action except the sit in protest with placards under the heat of the sun.

The villagers are from Boera, Porebada, Rearea and Papa.

They claimed that the government hasn’t paid their royalties since the first shipment of the LNG in May 2014.

They are demanding the government to look into this and provide answers to their demands.

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Tikina Namosi Landowners respond to NJV mining claims

A drill pad site. Photo: Namosi Joint Venture

Namosi Joint Venture exploration drill site

Tikina Namosi Landowners respond to the Chairman of the Fijian Parliamentary Select Committee on Natural Resource in relation to Namosi Joint Venture Director Mr Greg Morris’ claims on his presentation to the Standing Committee…

“Warm Greetings Mr Cawaki,

“At the outset, I wish to congratulate you on the tremendous work you are doing in assisting the Fijian People in these times.

“Vinaka saka vakalevu.

“I read with dismay the presentation given by Mr. Greg Morris yesterday as part of their presentation to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Natural Resources

“I write as Chairman of the Tikina Namosi Landowners Committee TNLC, wishing to highlight some of the issues needed also to be raised by Namosi Joint Venture NJV on but failed to do so. These are most important to us Fijian as we live in a very small island state called Fiji and wishing to commence with a massive open cut copper and Gold Mine very similar to OK Tedi in PNG. NJV has been smiling when it is explaining the economic benefit to the Country and not the Shareholders who will get more and the employing of 2000 people as part of its workforce, although I wish to highlight some of the issues from the Landowners perspectives and these are:

  1. Has NJV highlighted the environmental damages it has caused to our land the last 10 years of exploration in Namosi?
  2. Has NJV mentioned the vast area covered which if you look at the mine plan, anyone would be quick to establish that to have the first pit with a size of 180 rugby field and with 2 pits you will know that there will be migration of people;
  3. Has NJV mentioned of a third pit which is not mentioned in the Mine plan although we understand its where its gold deposit are concentrated,
  4. Has NJV mentioned that to show the third Pit, Government will automatically disallow the Mine License,
  5. Has NJV mentioned of a cost benefit analysis after mining has finished.
  6. Who pays for these costs?
  7. Is it sustainable to have a massive copper/gold mine in the smallest province in Fiji;
  8. In terms of migration, where will our people settled,,,,,,, Serua?
  9. What happen to the Heritage Act, the Museum Act, the Archeological and Paleontologist Act.- How can they identify with us?
  10. What’s the use of the Baseline Studies and where is the report now?
  11. What happens to provinces such as Serua, Naitasiri, Rewa and Tailevu if spillages does occur?
  12. Who will pay for the social implication after mining?
  13. What is the use of taking the lead in Climate Change stance as part of the COP 21, 22 and our taking Chairmanship in COP 23?
  14. When our ecosystem is damaged, who will feed us when all living organism are dead through chemical use,
  15. Has NJV mentioned that the Suva/Nausori populations are drinking from the Waimanu River that flows from Wainivalelevu from Namosi?
  16. How does the LOU benefit from this mine?
  17. How sustainable is the waste storage DAM or Tailing Dam. Who pays for the spillage downstream if an Earthquake or any disastrous weather phenomenon does occur?

“Sir the list goes on and on. The money is good for the Country on a short term benefit but the damage caused cannot be put the pristine environment back again. It will whisper to your ear and say…..moce qi sa la.

“As members of the Fiji First Party and government, we understand that we are following government road map to sustainable development and to have a project that is unsustainable will be against your road map.

“We need fresh air, fresh water, fresh crops and vegetation for our survival, so to mine Namosi is taking away what the almighty has given us to enjoy.

“I hope the TNLC’s humble plea will be taken on board and that serious and honest consideration in that Namosi should not be mined as it will cause more to the people and government after mining has taken place.

“What we do in our lives will determined our destiny to the next life whether it be good or bad, we will answer to the almighty or how justifiable we are.

“Vinaka saka vakalevu.

Josefa Rauto Waqavatu Tauleka

Chairman TNLC

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Filed under Environmental impact, Fiji, Financial returns, Human rights, Mine construction

Protesters angry about unpaid royalties picket LNG plant near Port Moresby

lng-protest-2

‘Pay our royalties!!!’ is the call from protesters picketing PNG LNG.

Eric Tlozek | ABC News | 20 February 2017

Villagers in Papua New Guinea are blockading the country’s biggest resources project because the government has not paid them long overdue royalties.

Hundreds of people who live near the PNG liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant outside Port Moresby have gathered around the main gate in an attempt to block access.

The PNG Government is yet to pay royalties from the $25 billion project, because of disputes about the identification of landowners from the gas fields and pipeline in the country’s highlands.

An attempt at alternative dispute resolution has stalled and the matter remains in court.

But a spokesman for the Port Moresby landowners, Chief Nao Nao, said that should not stop the government paying people from other areas.

PHOTO: Police were nearby but the action is being described as a "peaceful protest". (ABC News: Eric Tlozek)

PHOTO: Police were nearby but the action is being described as a “peaceful protest”. (ABC News: Eric Tlozek)

“The people are very frustrated today,” he said.

“They are unhappy with when they haven’t been receiving this royalty until today. So they are all here to show their pleas to the government: can you make an effort to pay us?”

Another spokesman for the protesters, Solo Damena, said the Port Moresby group believed they were being taken for granted because they had not threatened violence, unlike other aggrieved landowners.

The fact is, they’re really, really upset,” he said.

“We’re not going to move until we get paid.”

This is the second major protest affecting the LNG project.

Landowners from the gas fields in Hela Province blockaded the entrance to the conditioning plant at Hides in August 2016 over the non-payment of royalties and fears they would miss out on promised equity in the project.

PHOTO: The protesters want no ifs, ands or buts about their royalties. (ABC News: Eric Tlozek)

PHOTO: The protesters want no ifs, ands or buts about their royalties. (ABC News: Eric Tlozek)

Papua New Guinea’s LNG’s operator ExxonMobil issued a statement saying the protest had not affected operations at the plant.

“ExxonMobil PNG is monitoring the peaceful protest outside the LNG plant in Central Province and continuing to engage with the relevant landowner groups,” the statement said.

“Our primary concern is the safety of our staff and the community. While this is a matter between the landowners and the government, we are continuing to do everything we can to facilitate communication between all parties.

“We respect the right of individuals to peacefully protest, but we also encourage continued dialogue between landowners and the government to resolve their outstanding issues.

“We hope that landowners and the government can resolve this situation promptly and in an amicable manner.”

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Economic benefits promised if Namosi Joint Venture operations begin

A drill pad site. Photo: Namosi Joint Venture

A drill pad site.

By Semi Turaga | Fiji Village |  16/02/2017

736 full time positions are expected to be created every year if the Namosi Joint Venture gets a mining license and starts mining operations.

This was revealed by the Project Manager of Namosi Joint Venture Greg Morris in a presentation to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Natural Resources.

Morris says the figures are based on a study about the economic benefits of the project which was done by a specialist consultant.

He also highlighted in the presentation that they expect a peak of 2,000 employees in the fourth year of the operation.

Morris says they also expect to generate $343 million in Gross Domestic Product per annum on average when the operation starts.

The Namosi Joint Venture was established in 2008 for the exploration and development of mineral resources in the Namosi area.

They currently have an exploration license.

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