Tag Archives: government

Nautilus tries to reassure investors on stalled talks with PNG govt

Nautilus holding talks with govt

Shirley Mauludu | The National aka The Loggers Times

NAUTILUS Minerals is holding discussions with concerned Government officials in a bid to push the Solwara 1 project, country manager Mel Togolo said.

Earlier, Mining Minister Byron Chan said that due to current legal matters that needed to be addressed, the project would be delayed.

However, yesterday, Togolo said the ongoing negotiations between the miner and concerned Government officials seemed to be working well.

“I don’t think it has so much to do with the delay. We are having very positive discussions with the Government officials involved to move the project forward and those discussions are continuing.

“We want to work with the Government to ensure that the project moves forward,” Togolo said.

He said Nautilus could also face cost effects should there be any delays in the project implementation.

“When there are delays in projects, not only in mining but also in other projects, there is always cost implications.

“That is the risk that any delay would impose in a project. That’s a general statement to all projects,” he added.

Meanwhile, Togolo told The National the Government had shown positive response to meet its 30% equity in time so that the project would not be delayed any further.

“The Government has elected to exercise its option to take up 30% and I think that is a commitment that the Government has made.

“I think the Government is very serious about its commitment and when the time is right, it would be able to fulfil that (commitment),” Togolo said.

Nautilus Minerals was the first company to explore the ocean floor for polymetallic  seafloor massive sulphide deposits.

The company was granted first mining lease for such deposits at the prospect known as Solwara 1 in Bismarck Sea where it will extract copper, gold and silver.

The Canadian company was granted environmental permit for this site with license granted under the previous government.


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Filed under Mine construction, Papua New Guinea

Solomons government accused of lacking ability to monitor mining

Radio New Zealand

An environmental organisation says the Solomon Islands government lacks the capability to monitor mining effectively in the country.

The Nature Conservancy hosted a forum on mining last week in Buala, the provincial capital of Isabel, where two companies are vying for the rights to mine nickel.

Forum delegates decided Isabel is not ready for mining and have returned to their communities to discuss the issues involved.

But the conservancy’s programme director for Solomon Islands, Willie Atu, says the government cannot oversee additional mining operations.

“We only have one mining in Guadalcanal and currently the monitoring and even going out there and having a …the government lacks facility and capacity. So like if this happens on another island it would be heading on more challenges for the government.”

Willie Atu says people also want a revision of mining legislation so benefits are shared more equitably.

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Filed under Environmental impact, Financial returns, Papua New Guinea

Journalists under pressure in PNG as PM issues warning

Radio New Zealand

Journalists in Papua New Guinea are feeling the pressure from members of Parliament as controversial stories break in the media.

The Government is in the process of taking over the Ok Tedi mine from the Sustainable Development Program, and its head, the former Prime Minister Mekere Morauta, has warned millions of dollars in projects for communities is at stake.

On Thursday night, the media adviser for the Sustainable Development Programme, Mark Davis, was deported to Australia.

And on Friday the Prime Minister, Peter O’Neil, warned journalists not to defame the Government, after the national broadcaster demoted three veteran editors and producers whose reports were referred to as imbalanced.

A PNG journalist, Titi Gabi, says non-government media outlets are also harrassed.

“This particular TV company has got instructions from the top, saying you can’t run anything on us that’s negative because if you do, you know, we’ll force you to sell your shares, we won’t renew your licence. So what you have is managers interfering with news, how ridiculous is that?”


Filed under Papua New Guinea

Landowners in PNG threaten Government with Ok Tedi shutdown

Radio New Zealand

Landowners in Papua New Guinea’s Western Province have given the Government until next Wednesday to respond to demands to return their share in the OK Tedi mine.

They say if their 63.4 percent share is not returned, the mine will be shut down.

PNG Village reports the landowners say no one has responded to them, despite attempts to speak with local leaders and the office of the Prime Minister.

They want the share to be given to them directly so they can then decide who will be given the responsibility to manage it.

They says they’ve been consulting the OK Tedi Mine workers union and will shut down the mine if that’s what’s needed to get the Government’s attention.

The spokesperson for the Community Mine Continuation Agreement, Richard Zumoi, says since the Government takeover, community projects such water catchment, health and education have come to a standstill.

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Filed under Financial returns, Papua New Guinea

Minister urges Government to shift focus from mining to agriculture

Agriculture vital to PNG

The National aka The Loggers Times

Recent increased developments in the extractive industry have left the agriculture sector to near collapse, says  Papua New Guinea Agriculture Minister Tommy Tomscoll.

Tomscoll said despite that, the agriculture sector has always been the backbone of the economy.

He said as a way forward he would encourage the government to shift their focus from the mineral sector to redevelop the agriculture sector and other sustainable industries such as fisheries and tourism for sustainable economic growth.

“PNG is a agriculture economy and not an economy based on mining, oil and gas,” he said.

Tomscoll said revenue from the extractive industry was an opportunity and will not last.

He said the success of agriculture lies in innovation and creativity, hence it was important to educate and do more awareness to the young people to work hard on their land.

He said they will review the entire sector and revive it and connect directly with the farmers.

He said the livelihoods of over 80 per cent of Papua New Guineans depend on agriculture with the sector contributing to about 20 per cent of GDP.

Tomscoll said farming has been a form of income, food and business for the people of PNG for many years.

He said he would like to see people go into the culture of savings from their farm produce and agricultural activities to improve their lifestyles for them and their children

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Filed under Financial returns, Papua New Guinea

Spokesman: Mine proceeds fund projects

The National aka The Loggers Times

A PRIME minister’s spokesman says it is true that proceeds from Ok Tedi mine do flow to the consolidated revenue of the government.

“And it is used with tax and other forms of revenue to fund recurrent expenditures like salaries and wages, medical drugs and fund development projects in the country,” he said.

“The Treasury Department has a record of these expenditures,” he said.

“The Department of National Planning and Rural Development has a record of development projects funded in the budget.

“While the National Government has to spread its resources thinly throughout the entire country, the PNG Sustainable Development Program does not have to do that,” the spokesman said.

“Its main focus is Western province.

“It was set up to repay the people there for the massive damage done to their environment and their way of life.

“If the Papua New Guinea Sustainable Development Program spent K5 billion since 2002 then there is nothing to show for it.

“This is why the Members of Parliament from the province approached prime minister for a change, to ensure the Papua New Guinea Sustainable Development Program became accountable for the huge wealth at its disposal.

“Sir Mekere cannot be boasting about Daru Port, Purari Dam feasibility or Cloudy Bay Timber.

“These are projects where millions of kina have been wasted, with no impact on the lives of the people of Western province.

“No one can sit back and allow this kind of wastage to continue while the mine people suffer.

“Further, Sir Mekere’s admittance on FM100 Talkback that the Papua  New Guinea Sustainable Development Program was set up as an offshore company in Singapore because the Papua New Guinea Government could not be trusted, demonstrates Sir Mekere’s lack of trust for his own government and people.

“Sir Mekere has very dim views of the Papua New Guinea Government, its leaders and its people yet he conveniently claims to represent the people of Western province where he sits right now. This hipocracy should end.”


Filed under Financial returns, Papua New Guinea

Spatial Dimension helps PNG prepare for EITI Candidacy with Mineral Tenement Map Portal

Spatial Dimension   | GISUser

Spatial Dimension is pleased to announce the launch of an online mining cadastre portal for Papua New Guinea. The public portal is a key component to PNGs new mineral tenement administration framework powered by FlexiCadastre. The public portal improves transparency within Papua New Guinea’s mining sector which in turn will promote high quality future investments.

The portal can be accessed at http://portals.flexicadastre.com/png

“Spatial Dimension started work on the World Bank funded project to develop a fully integrated Mineral Tenement Management System for the Mineral Resources Authority in July.”

“The project is progressing well with a data validation methodology in place, internal business processes modeled and now the launch of this Mining Cadastre Portal,” said Charles Young, Team Leader for the PNG project.

“The Portal emphasises the willingness of the government to embrace the new Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) standard, which not only includes revenue disclosure but also the disclosure of tenement information to the public.”“We understand that Papua New Guinea is targeting December 2013 as the date it will apply to EITI for Candidate Country status and we will assist them in this important endeavour,” concluded Mr Young.

The portal currently displays active exploration tenements but additional tenement data and geo-scientific data will be included as and when the data is validated and available. The tenement data in the portal is currently updated on a weekly basis but this will change to daily once FlexiCadastre is commissioned as the mineral tenement management system within the MRA.

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Filed under Exploration, Papua New Guinea

Porgera landowners say no final agreement made

The National aka The Loggers Times

PORGERA landowners have denied finalising the mining review agreement in Kokopo.

Porgera Landowners” Association chairman Tony Mark Ekepa, landowners representatives and members of the mining review committee said that no formal agreement had been finalised. The landowners said several issues were still outstanding and needed their concerns to be factored in the memorandum of  agreement  (MoA) review, while developer  Barrick Gold was absent from the review.

“The (newspaper) report is misrepresented and misreported. We did not agree and did not finalise any agreement. Our stand is clear and that is for the parties to agree with some of our concerns which are yet to be submitted. We will now sign the MoA review agreement until Barrick (PJV) is involved in the review because they have their obligation to address like the resettlement exercise and the establishment of women in mining,” Ekepa said.

He said the State would  not bulldoze the review.

“Our position is clear and that is why we have not concluded any agreement. They (PJV) cannot be obliged to honour their obligation when they are not a signatory. We must have PJV included and sign,  then we shall finalise the agreement.

He said certain provisions of the MoA stated that PJV would be obliged to carry out certain responsibilities like the resettlement of locals from the mining lease area which they could not do if they were not a signatory to the agreement.

“We haven’t finished. We have only started. Whoever published the story has misled the stakeholders and the people of PNG, the government, the people at home and the media because it was not correct,” Ekepa said.

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Filed under Human rights, Papua New Guinea

Porgera MOA review completed

Post Courier

THE third review on the Memorandum of Agreement for the Porgera project that was signed 24 years ago was completed in Kokopo, East New Britain last week with a revised version by the end of the week.

In 1989, under a tripartite arrangement, the Porgera MoA was signed between the national and provincial governments, and landowners.

Contained in the agreement were benefit sharing arrangements and projects to be undertaken by various parties mineral royalty payments, special support grant, tax credit scheme, equity, Porgera Long Term Sustainable Development Plan, law and order, environment protection, preference in supply and procurement, local business development, training and employment, and Porgera township development among other issues.

Following the outcome of this review, some new clauses were added into the MoA to include issues like resettlement, review timeframe, law and order, and women in mining.

These were not in the existing MoA and will be included in the revised version.

During the review, Barrick was invited to be a party to the MoA but declined saying it was happy to participate in development arrangements with the MOA parties as the project developer.

It also made a commitment to honor projects and developments that would require its input during the meeting.

According to Dr Ila Temu, the company has many other agreements in place in for many of the issues similar to the ones contained in the MoA that are current and are yet to be fulfilled.

“Any commitment in the MoA for Barrick to come in, we will take in.

“We don’t need an MoA to fulfill our commitments,” he said

The review was concluded last Saturday, with all parties agreeing for the revised MOA draft to be finalised and submitted to cabinet for approval.


Filed under Financial returns, Papua New Guinea

Can extractive industry transparency help save PNG?

Kela Kapkora Sil Bolkin | PNG Attitude

PAPUA NEW GUINEA IS RICH IN NATURAL RESOURCES such as oil, gas, timber and mining but tends to underperform economically. It is also inundated with corruption.

People suffer from poor governance because the multinational corporations, politicians, government bureaucrats and leaders of landowner groups conspire to make huge gains by diverting funds elsewhere.

The common people are consequentially suffering and vulnerable to all sorts of socio-economic ills which naive foreign journalists lump together to describe PNG as a ‘shithole’.

You find only one or two well-nourished, well-to-do humans among the masses of dirty and undernourished bodies in Port Moresby and they tend to be from Tari, Kutubu, Porgera and Mailu.

The thugs one sees running around Gordon’s Market in Moresby are mostly from the resource rich provinces.

Had the duty bearers managed the royalties properly, these thugs would not need to fly or walk into the scourging sun of Port Moresby to make ends meet and end up looking through rubbish in dippers and bins.

They would be cashed up in their own districts, living in good homes with happy families.

Some of the poorest of the poor in Port Moresby, that bundle up around Gordon’s Market from dawn to dusk to prey on Papuan women and rape grandmothers in public, are mineral resource landowners.

These thugs literally stink to the core while their leaders chest-beat and run around hotels in Port Moresby with ill-disciplined teenage girls.

Let’s look at one example.  The Amazon Bay Local Level Government area in Central Province is blessed with enormous rainforests.

It earned its name Amazon Bay from Luiz Vas De Torres when he sailed to Mailu in August 1606 thinking that Mailu was the tail end of the Amazon rainforest in Latin America.

The Amazon Bay rainforest in Central Province has been felled indiscriminately by Pivot, Rimbunan Hijau and Mecca PNG since 1979. Mecca PNG is still cutting timber in Amazon Bay (Sabiribo) today.

God! Save the Amazon Bay people!

After 33 years of continuous cutting by these three companies the LLG is the least developed in the whole of PNG. The airport has been closed. There is no medicine in the Magarida Health Centre. There is no medication for anything, including sexually transmitted infections. The patients sleep on cement.

The schools have fewer teachers than ever before. There are no students from Amazon Bay studying in any of the higher learning institutions in PNG. Their only access to Port Moresby is via motor powered dug-out canoes, which days to sail on the treacherous ocean.  And, of course, people pay K200 as the fare to take this risk.

Maybe the people are partly to blame for being timid and not speaking up against the exploitation of their rainforests by their puerile leaders – who, like Emperor Nero who burned Rome to ashes and blamed the Christians, or like the other Caesars who were obsessed with wine, orgy and more wealth – forsook their primary duty of good governance.

The politicians and the leaders of landowner groups should be cursed for kneeling at the rear of the multinational companies to fan their farts.

They should have negotiated with the greedy multi-billion dollar corporations seeking raw materials to bring basic services so people have access to markets and other government facilities and rightly remain in their native lands to cultivate their soil and make ends meet.

The Bank of PNG continues to forecast and inform everyone of the good times ahead, just as it has done for the last 10 years. It is all rhetoric, it seems.

The well-being of individuals has not climbed an inch if you go around the country. Life is just gloomy and indistinct.

Basic infrastructure is falling apart and the population of drug addicts has soared. Cash flow is at its lowest among the ordinary people. It is unsafe to travel far and wide into the districts without police escorts.

Our neighbours, the Australians, are willing to travel to Bali and risk death from underworld crime rather than come to PNG and smell the farts and odour of poverty and rundown infrastructure.

There is, however, some hope for the more equitable distribution of the proceeds from the exploitation of PNG’s natural resources.

In May this year, Treasurer Don Polye gave a speech saying that the Government of Papua New Guinea has affirmed its commitment to implementing the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) at the EITI Global Conference in Sydney.

The landowning people can now hope that, by December this year, PNG will get acknowledgment from the EITI governing body that PNG is an EITI candidate.

The masses know the Ombudsmen Commission has no teeth and Sam Koim’s Task Force Sweep is snowed under with caseload.  The Sovereign Wealth Fund is vulnerable to abuse.

Therefore, to protect the collective wealth of the masses from the mining, oil and gas sectors, PNG EITI candidature is vital.

PNG’s EITI candidature will encourage greater transparency in these resources and some of the potential negative impacts can be mitigated.

Government revenues are expected to increase due to the US$19 billion PNG LNG project, with the first LNG deliveries scheduled to begin in 2014, it is crucially important for our candidature status to be finalized before that happens.

Once PNG goes through the different stages of the EITI and demonstrates compliance the investment climate will improve by providing a clear signal to investors and international financial institutions that the government is committed to greater transparency.

EITI will also assist in strengthening accountability and good governance, as well as promoting greater economic and political stability.

PNG will complete the four sign-up steps soon and by December it will be an EITI candidate. The people whose land foreigners dug up with impunity and siphoned resources away from to share with a few henchmen should welcome the desire of PNG to be a member of EITI.

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Filed under Financial returns, Papua New Guinea