Tag Archives: Frieda river mine

State urged to hold off project agreement on Frieda

A LAWYER and a former MP have urged the Government to hold off the project agreement on the Frieda copper and gold project until after the general election next year.

Former Maprik MP in East Sepik Sir Pita Lus and lawyer Alois Jerewai said it should be left to the leaders elected in 2017.

“The mandate of the Government and the East and the West Sepik provincial governments have only less than one year to expire.

“Therefore the decision in relation to the terms and conditions of the Frieda mine project must be left to the leaders after the 2017 general elections,” Jerewai said.

“It concerns us that the Government under the stewardship of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill is rushing to have the Frieda mine brought into operation to sustain the seriously falling economy of Papua New Guinea at any cost.”

He said the biggest cost would be the ecological impact on the Sepik River basin and the tributaries which support and sustain almost half a million of people.

“In the event that the mine is rushed into operation without proper scrutiny by our current leaders, the Sepik people will be the ones who will suffer the most,” Jerewai said.

Sir Pita called on the Government, the Mineral Resource Authority and the Conservation and Environment Protection Authority to provide the proposed or the actual mine waste management and disposal plan to the provincial governments for assessment by their own scientists and engineers.

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Filed under Environmental impact, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

Onus on Chinese to build a safe dam if large Sepik mine proceeds

Vanimo Harbour, West Sepik, Papua New Guinea. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

Vanimo Harbour, West Sepik, Papua New Guinea. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

Minister’s advisor has ‘fingers crossed’ the Chinese do the right thing and we don’t end up with another Ok Tedi. VERY REASSURING!

Radio New Zealand | 25 November 2016

The onus is on a Chinese developer to build a safe tailings dam if it proceeds with developing Papua New Guinea’s Frieda River mine.

A feasibility study was recently completed for the copper and gold mine in West Sepik province for which Chinese-owned company PanAust has lodged a special mining lease application.

The study unearthed an even larger copper deposit than previously estimated.

However, local communities are worried about potential mine tailings polluting the major Sepik River system.

Katherine Karaya, the first secretary to the Mining Minister Byron Chan, said the government acknowledges the need to have sound environmental expertise incorporated before the mine is developed.

“Well let’s hope that the Chinese do a good thing, the right thing, to build a dam,” she said.

“Let’s keep our fingers crossed. They say they can do it, they’ve done it before in China, so let’s wait and see. Only time will tell whether they can prove they can do it, or if not there’s going to be another lawsuit like the Ok Tedi thing.”

Ms Karaya said the Environment Minister would have to be satisfied with the miner’s plans before a mining license is granted.

A pre-requisite for a license, according to the Mineral Resources Authority, is an environmental permit approved by PNG’s Conservation and Environment Protection Authority.

The MRA has also said PanAust would build a damn that would be part of PNG’s largest land tailings storage facility to ensure tailings are not dumped in the Sepik River and its tributaries.

The facility could double up as a hydro power damn for generating electricity.


Filed under Environmental impact, Papua New Guinea

Wardens Hearings for Frieda River mine lease applications underway


The Wardens Hearings for the Mining Lease, Special Mining Lease, Leases for Mining Purposes and Mining Easements for the proposed Frieda River mine are currently underway in 11 villages in East and West Sepik Provinces.

The villages are – Amaromin; Sokamin; Wameimin; Wabia; Ok Isai; Paupe; Wusok; Sowano; Sio; Pei; and, Kubkain.

The relevant Tenement Nos. are ML 157; SML 9; ME 87, 88, 89, 90; and, LMP 94, 95, 96, 97, 98.

The hearings started on 1st November and the last is scheduled for the 8th – download a full list (pdf file).

The proposed mine is to be built and operated by the Chinese mining company, Guandong Rising Assets Management (GRAM).


Filed under Mine construction, Papua New Guinea

Mining industry to meet in Sydney to plan further exploitation of PNG resources


Frieda river mine camp

Papua New Guinea’s resources sector still has some ‘bright stars’, says Anderson

David James | Business Advantage | 19 October 2016

Times are undoubtedly tough in Papua New Guinea’s mining and petroleum sector, but as the industry prepares for its biennial conference in Sydney in December, the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum’s Greg Anderson tells Business Advantage PNG there are still ‘bright stars’ to get excited about.

In spite of encouraging rallies this year from gold and silver, global prices for mineral commodities remain  low. PNG’s mining and petroleum industry is not alone in feeling the effects.

Profits are down worldwide and exploration activity is at a low ebb.

But experienced hands like Greg Anderson, Executive Director of the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum, understand that the industry is cyclical in nature and that the preparatory work that will create the next upturn is already underway.

‘There are still some bright stars, in spite of the global situation,’ he tells Business Advantage PNG.

Anderson and his team at the Chamber are preparing for the 14th Papua New Guinea Mining and Petroleum Investment Conference, set to be held at the Hilton Hotel in Sydney from 5 to 7 December.

The biennial event, the industry’s major gathering, will provide a comprehensive overview of these positive developments, as well as providing updates on PNG’s many existing resource projects, including the ExxonMobil-led PNG LNG project.

More LNG to come

Anderson believes the takeover by ExxonMobil of InterOil (finally approved by a US court in the last week in September) will clear the way for greater synergies between the existing PNG LNG project and the Papua LNG project, the country’s second planned LNG development in which InterOil had a significant stake.

He expects ExxonMobil and France’s Total SA, which is the designated operator of Papua LNG, to optimise the project.

‘Papua LNG is expected to be in the lower cost quartile of LNG projects around the world,’ he observes, indicating that prospects for financing of the second LNG project are positive.

In addition to this, ExxonMobil’s promising efforts to develop the P’nyang gas field in Western Province could well underpin the opening of a third train at its LNG plant outside Port Moresby. That would be a significant expansion for a project already beating production targets.

Mining progress

‘The highly promising Frieda River and Wafi-Golpu copper-gold projects continue to make significant progress towards commencement,’ notes Anderson.

PanAust, the developer of the Frieda River project, applied for its mining lease in late June, less than a year after being acquired by Chinese provincial investment fund, Guangdong Rising Assets Management.

Newcrest Mining and joint venture partner Harmony Gold are not far behind, having applied for a special mining lease for Wafi-Golpu only last month.

Nor has exploration activity altogether stalled in PNG.

Harmony Gold, which only this month ramped up its presence in PNG by acquiring joint venture partner Newcrest’s 50% share of the Hidden Valley gold mine, is getting exciting results from its Kili Teke prospect in Hela Province. Latest estimates suggest a resource of some 1.2 million ounces of gold and half a million tonnes of copper.

Meanwhile, Anglo American and Highlands Pacific are continuing exploration activity in their joint venture in the Star Mountains in West Sepik Province, north of the Ok Tedi copper-gold mine. 

New Act

If there’s one key issue outstanding for miners, it is the proposed new Mining Act. Despite a lengthy drafting process, industry still has many major outstanding issues with the current draft.

Anderson says what PNG needs is ‘a continuation of our successful internationally competitive and stable legal, fiscal and regulatory regime so that benefits such as royalties, employment, education and training among others are maintained and that there is continuous growth in both the mining and petroleum sectors.’

The 14th Papua New Guinea Mining and Petroleum Investment Conference will be held at the Hilton Hotel, Sydney from 5 to 7 December. 

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Filed under Exploration, Financial returns, Papua New Guinea

Foreigners celebrate PNG gullibility

The streets of Sydney, London and Vancouver are already paved with PNG gold and now the foreign capitalists can’t wait to loot PNG once again.

Why do we keep falling for their glittering promises of multi-billion benefits?

The truth is they are the ones who reap the benefits and it is PNG who provides the wealth for THEIR development…

These white folks just can't believe we can still be so stupid...

Just look at that smirk: These white folks just can’t believe we can still be so stupid…

ONE PNG | 13 October 2016

Feasibility studies into future gas and mineral projects reveal investment prospects worth over K77 billion (K77.8).

The figure was revealed during the launching of the ‘The Report: Papua New Guinea 2016’ by the Oxford Business Group (OBG).

OBG Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Jeffreys, says PNG has a relatively easy task of differentiating itself as a destination of choice for energy majors and commodity investors, given its unique hydrcarbon and mining potential.

He said delivery of large scale projects creates an enormous buzz in international media and tends to attract smaller investors.

“PNG has a formidable pipeline of energy and mining projects to be delivered within the  next 10 years. Feasibility studies alone that are available to the public reveal an astonishing 26 billion dollar investment prospect,” he said.

“Even if 30% of it is delivered we are looking at a significant boost to employment in the construction sector, increase in government revenues and growth in technology services to support these operations.”

The projects cited are the Wafi-Golpu, Frieda Mine, P’nyang Gas Project, and the Papua LNG.

The Wafi-Golpu Project in Morobe Province is expected to begin production in 2020, with an initial investment of K6.8 million ($2.3m).

The Frieda Mine Project in West Sepik, production of the largest known and undeveloped copper deposit is expected to start in 2024-2025 with a total investment of K17.9 billion ($6 billion).

The expansion of the P’nyang Gas Project in Western Province and the Papua LNG will both require investments of K30 billion each.

The Papua LNG is expected to create as many as 10, 000 jobs. Construction is expected to begin in 2018.


Filed under Financial returns, Papua New Guinea

Frieda mine must comply with laws: Tekwie


The National aka The Loggers Times | September 6, 2016

FORMER Sandaun Governor John Tekwie says the developers of the Frieda copper-gold project and the provincial government must fulfil obligations, terms and conditions under the Organic Law on Provincial and Local Government Affairs Act.

Project developer PanAust Limited lodged a special mining lease application for the Frieda River copper-gold project with the Mineral Resource Authority.

Managing director Dr Fred Hess said the lodgement of the application was a milestone in the pursuit of organic growth for the company.

Tekwie said apart from stringent legal requirements under the Mining Act for consultations and development forums, there was also the need for consultation and compliance by developers with provincial governments and landowners.

“PanAust must be reminded of its obligation for proper and full consultation with provincial leaders,” Tekwie said.

“Overseas paid junket trips for governors and MPs do nothing meaningful to the many negative realities faced after full operation (such as in the case of Bougainville, Ok Tedi and Ramu Nickel).

“This obligates investor parties and MRA to ensure that full and proper opportunity is given to our province to fully explore, ask, and know, and be included in/with all facts pertaining to the project prior to issuance of any mining lease by the minister.

“No one should ever use our Sandaun people’s non-response as to mean we are not interested.”

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Filed under Environmental impact, Papua New Guinea

PNG’s biggest ever tailings dam for Frieda river mine

A massive wave of toxic mud swept away the lives of locals living below the mining waste impoundment. Photo: Romerito Pontes

A massive wave of toxic mud swept away the lives of locals in Brazil when a BHP tailings dam failed recently. Photo: Romerito Pontes

Gedion Timothy | The National aka The Loggers Times | September 6, 2016
IT will take 12 months or longer to complete the technical assessments of two mining lease applications for Frieda in East Sepik and Wafi-Golpu in Morobe, according to the Mineral Resource Authority.
Managing director Philip Samar said both mines provided their own development plans.
PanAust Limited, the leader explorer and developer of the multi-billion kina Frieda copper-gold project in West Sepik lodged a special mining lease application for the project with the Mineral Resource Authority in June.
Likewise, the Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture lodged an application on August 25 for a similar lease.
The MRA is two months into the technical assessment of the Frieda proposal for development.
The authority has circulated within government the relevant sections on business development, equity and training to the appropriate government agencies for their review. These will then be collated by the MRA for submission to Cabinet for approval.
“The Wafi assessment is through the preliminary stages and should pick up within the next three months,” Samar said.
“It is anticipated that all mining approvals should be ready in the next 12 months. The 12 months (could be more) is the time it will take MRA to complete its technical assessments of the two proposals for the development of both projects.”
He said the MRA would prepare a submission to Cabinet which the Mining Minister would table in Parliament.
“The SML is not granted until and unless the Environment Permit by Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (CEPA) has been approved.
“Frieda will build Papua New Guinea’s largest land tailings storage facility (tailings dam) to ensure tailings are not disposed into the Sepik River over the life of the mine,” he said.
“This tailings facility will also double up as a hydro dam for purposes of generating electricity for operating the mine.
“The copper concentrate is shipped down the Sepik to Wewak for export to market.”
Wafi is a large long-life underground mine using a similar sized land tailings storage facility with an extensive pipeline infrastructure that delivers the copper concentrate from site to the port of Lae, Samar said.

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Filed under Environmental impact, Papua New Guinea