Tag Archives: Johnson Tuke

Minister has his mind on forum to discuss Wafi-Golpu

The National aka The Loggers Times | 10 July 2018

Mining Minister Johnson Tuke will open a forum in Morobe tomorrow to discuss the Wafi-Golpu Project.
Concerned parties were expected to share views and ideas to push the project forward since the formal application by Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture Partners was initiated last year.

“I am prepared to recommend to the Head of State (Governor-General) to grant the development licence once the State is satisfied with all relevant and necessary steps taken to comfortably and confidently convince the national Government,” Tuke said.

“I am informed the State is currently putting together a set of conditions for the development licence.”

He said that from the Government’s standpoint, the benefits streams it normally offered to the province, including project area landowners and local level governments, were governed by laws, policies and practices.

Tuke said some benefit streams like equity participation, for instance, were regulated by law so there may be no room to follow any past practice.

He appealed to all the stakeholders to be reasonable in pressing their positions in this regard.

Apart from giving confidence to other international investors interested in PNG, the Wafi-Golpu Project, a fully underground mining project, will prove significant for the country and the global community as it boosts the PNG economy and foreign exchange.

According to Tuke, the Wafi-Golpu copper/gold project under the guidance of the Government and the National Executive Council would be offering a number of benefit streams predicated on a number of factors such as:

  • Benefits to reflect the level of impact on project;
  • Benefits to reflect level of development in project area;
  • Benefits to aim to achieve fair distribution to all affected by project; and
  • Benefits distribution to reflect existing policies, laws and practices.

“The Government has a duty to this country and its people to have this project approved as a matter of national importance and global interest,” Tuke said. “No amount of rhetoric will give comfort to our people, unless we demonstrate our commitment by our actions.

“The O’Neill-Abel Government wants to see the permitting and development of this project during their term of Parliament.”

He said that people should understand that this was just the beginning of the consultation forum and it would lead to benefit sharing agreements once approved by the NEC.

Tuke encouraged all project stakeholders to work together to progress all aspects of the Wafi-Golpu Project in the shortest time possible in order to realise its benefits.

It has been 30 years since the first discovery of mineral resources at Wafi-Golpu.


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Ramu NiCo landowners assured royalty payment ‘soon’

The National aka The Loggers Times | May 4, 2018

The Government has assured landowners of the Ramu NiCo project in Madang that they will receive their outstanding royalties soon.

Mining Minister Johnson Tuke reassured the four landowner association chairmen of the Ramu NiCo project, and Madang acting provincial administrator John Bivi, that as soon as procedural matters were executed by relevant authorities, the amount owed to them would be paid.

Tuke, while sympathising with the landowners, said this matter had been dragged on for too long as a result of officers not doing their jobs as expected.

He added that as soon as the appointment of the acting managing-director of Mineral Resources Authority was approved by Cabinet, royalty payment matters would be the first thing he would address.

Ramu Nico Management said it had the money to pay landowners.

Chairmen present during the meeting included Toby Bare (Kurumbukari Landowners’ Association), Sama Mellombo (Basamuk Landowners’ Association), Peter Tai (Maigari Landowners’ Association) and Jeffrey Kinang (Coastal Pipeline Landowners’ Association).

Meanwhile, the landowner chairmen were concerned that opportunists from the recent crime upheavals in Madang would use the current situation with the mine landowner against the State to instigate trouble and damage mine properties and assets in the province. Tuke, however, assured them that as minister responsible for mining he would not allow that to happen.

He told the leaders that he would be visiting landowners and the people of Madang next Friday with the new acting managing director of MRA to attend to their needs.

Ramu NiCo Mining Ltd community affairs manager Albert Tobe said the company was ready to pay royalties to the landowners as soon as the State gave them clearance.

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Tuke Praised For Alluvial Mining Plans

Post Courier | March 12, 2018

PLANS to reserve alluvial mining for locals has attracted praise from local landowner companies across the country.

Minister for Mining Johnson Tuke said he wants to enable locals to build up wealth and capital to prosper in the next stages of the mining-especially in the mineral rich areas.

An aspiring umbrella landowner company, Tundaka PNG Limited of Mt Tundaka exploration licence area, applauded the move.

The new prospect is located in Enga’s Kandep district along the border with Magarima in Hela.

“As the chairman of the umbrella company, I congratulate Mr Tuke and support this initiative to empower landowners to the landowners to venture into such lucrative businesses on extractive industries,” chairman Pokya Pea said.

He said to break the barrier of landowners being the collectors of royalties only and spectators in their own resource developments is the step in the right direction.

“We can’t be bystanders for foreigners to extract our valuable resources and giving us 2.5 per cent only as equity share especially in the extractive industries.

“The proposal, when established, will strengthen our economy through setting up our bullion bank and financially empowered,” he said.

Mr Pea called on the government to amalgamate the Mineral Resource Authority and the Department of Geo-hazards Management to bring about new extractive projects as well as to build the capital wealth of people.

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Minister will not intervene in Ok Tedi mine sacking

Charmaine Poriambep | LOOP PNG | February 26, 2018

Despite calls from the North Fly MP to investigate the sacking of more than 100 Ok Tedi Mining Limited employees, Mining Minister Johnson Tuke says he will not intervene with administrative issues.

He said the sacking of these workers is a management issue.

“I understand that it is grievances displayed by employees. They have a channel to go through,” stated Tuke.

Minister Tuke says Ok Tedi Mining Limited has set guidelines and regulations on how to deal with issues that arise and both parties have to be guided by those processes.

Meanwhile, OTML says it will not make any comments or statements on the matter.

North Fly MP, James Donald, recently called on Tuke to immediately intervene and direct investigations into the sacking of a group of Ok Tedi Mine employees in Western Province.

His call comes after the company management terminated more than 100 of its employees last Tuesday for staging a protest against the company.

OTML said their industrial action was illegal as it did not follow the grievance process and was not supported by the union.

They were served with termination letters on the evening of that same day (Tuesday) to leave.

Donald said sacking of employees in that manner and in such big numbers was concerning as it was signalling something worse to come.

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Alluvial Mining To Be Reserved For Locals

Post Courier | February 22, 2018

Alluvial mining is now [to be] reserved for Papua New Guineans according to the Minister for Mining Johnson Tuke.

This will also see for regional alluvial (small scale) mining schools to be established in the country and the sector to be funded by the government.

Mr Tuke made this announcement in Milne Bay province during the 2018 alluvial and small scale mining convention and Exposition.

This exposition is a regional initiative of the Esa’ala district development administration in partnership with the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA), and supported by the Milne Bay Provincial Government.

“Since taking office as the Mining Minister, I have been passionately attracted to the growth of the alluvial industry.

“My desire is to help Papua New Guineans to train professionally and acquire necessary skills and knowledge on how to mine the alluvial exceptionally well and build up the wealth capital to be able to engage productively in the exploration and mining stages of the industry,” said Mr Tuke.

He said mining was a sector that Papua New Guinea based its budget on and therefore imperative, under the O’Neill-Abel Government to help the people participate meaningfully in the alluvial sector and generate wealth for the country.

“Enough of outside people mining in the alluvial sector, it’s for our people we can’t be spectators anymore in our own land. I will make a submission to the government to make alluvial mining a reserved activity only for Papua New Guineans,” he said.

There will be four regional alluvial miners’ training centres, to be located in Milne Bay Province (Southern), Wau-Bulolo in Morobe Province (Momase), Kainantu in Eastern Highlands Province (Highlands) and New Ireland Province (New Guinea Islands).

He said the government would fund the alluvial mining sector starting next year to make it accessible for the people to assist them in their alluvial mining activities.

Mr Tuke said the MRA and the Department of Mineral Policy & Geo-hazards Management would be tasked with the creation of a framework to establish the training centres and other necessary technical capacity to empower them.

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Mining Policies Need To Be Reviewed: Minister

Minister For Mining Johnson Tuke Says The Policies Governing The Mining Sector In Papua New Guinea Need To Be Revisited.

Matthew Vari | Post Courier | February 22, 2018

Minister for Mining Johnson Tuke says the policies governing the mining sector in Papua New Guinea need to be revisited.

He said much of the legislations governing the sector are still from the colonial era.

Mr Tuke said with the strong support from Prime Minister O’Neill and government caucus he is determined to take stock of benefits to landowners that make changes for the country to have a greater share in its own wealth.

“I think all our mining policies are more or less colonial. Are we still in the colonial times? We are moving forward,” Mr Tuke said.

“Leaders like Sir Julius Chan have all learnt their mistakes, and are telling me to move forward. The decisions conducted then were suitable for that time. This time has different underpinning. We have take heed of it and move ahead.”

Mr Tuke said he plans for all new mines to provide community obligation concessions.

“We have been for far too long reaped. This is high time; there will never be another time. It needs courage and determination. This government is determined.”

Mr Tuke commended Prime Minister Peter O’Neill for his leadership in ensuring changes do take place for the country’s mining sector.

“There has never been a time any consecutive government has thought so much of its people. I have started off with MRA and I will pursue with mining policy and acts.”

“I am adamant and I will fight vigorously until I pass the mining policy (review). I think 40 years is enough and we are overqualified to develop new policies.”

“I have got to do one or two things, I have to make abnormal decisions that will stimulate many others but affect a few.”

He said with the mining industry a huge contributor to the national purse much of its activities have been done behind the curtain. Something Tuke says he wants to change.

“I want everybody to know the system, the guidelines, the policy and the process, because once it (minerals) is gone, it is gone. You can’t renew that so our people have to know what they (developers) are doing.”

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Minister should listen to the people on Experimental Seabed Mining

Lester Seri | ACT NOW! | 8 February 2018

Our Minister for Mining has made known his support for experimental seabed mining, but he has not given any rational justification for his endorsement of Nautilus Minerals and Solwara 1, especially when there is so much uncertainty and questions being asked about Papua New Guinea being used as a guinea pig.

There are international scientists highlighting likely serious biological / ecological problems that could come about, as there has never been any such seabed mining done before anywhere in the world. Surely, anybody in a responsible position as an elected member of Parliament entrusted with the duty to represent the interest / concerns of his or her electorate and the country, is supposed to, in the midst of citizens concern, take time, assess and evaluate the issues / concerns before taking a decision. Minister Tuke has failed miserably in this regard!

Many people have already raised serious doubts and concerns, but neither the Minister nor the Government have come forward to give an honest and truthful answer to the people. Instead they have made a unilateral decision without taking time to answer or respond to the people’s queries. The Minister has taken a dictatorial stand defying the peoples concerns.

The Minister says he is only going by the Government’s decision to approve the mining permit but does not give any serious scientific or economic rational for why Solwara 1 has been granted the mining license.

The minister is concerned there have been no new mines been opened recently, and says that he is pursuing the Governments policy to get new mines on stream and operational. This is common government bullshit all over the world.

The question that needs answering (and as citizens we want to know) is, what is the economic rationale and benefits that will accrue to the people and the country now and into the future. I mean how much difference (benefit) in terms of actual money and human development will Solwara 1 effectively contribute to the the country?

We need some indication of the volume and quantity of minerals and value, and the likely benefits that we will be gaining from this mining project.  These benefits, whatever they may be, ought to be spelt out, clearly articulated, so we are not only clear but assured of what we are likely to gain.

Just because the Minister or Prime Minister and their members are elected MPs  does not necessary mean that they are always right in their judgment, and that we will surely gain as they claim. This uncertainty arises from the government failure in giving its citizens the actual benefits analysis and, breakdown of the financial benefits that will accrue.

As citizens, we also want to know, what likely costs (environmentally and economically) we will have to endure, and how much of this cost can be justified, considering the fact that the government has bought shares (using public funds) in Solwara 1.

We would like to know, in the event of the mine being unsuccessful / unprofitable and if we miss out on benefits, how are we going to recoup our investment? The Minister and the government have a duty and responsibility to explain to its citizens, how it will insure itself from any possible loss.

Our history has shown us over 40 years that despite active government engagement in extractive (mining) industries and despite seeing and witnessing billions of kina in revenue earned by foreign companies, there really is nothing to show in terms of real development and benefit to the citizens and the nation.

All our development indicators are well below the respectable levels enjoyed by much smaller countries in the Pacific with little or no natural resource base in the abundance that we have.

It is this very arrogant and reckless attitude of MPs who have been elected to Parliament as the people representatives, politicians, legislators, and decision makers that has cost this country so dearly and we are all experiencing the hardship today, and no doubt it will be experienced by the future generation.

I cannot fathom the reckless attitude of the Minister, especially in the light of the financial problems that Nautilus Minerals is facing and its executives resigning. Any sane and rational elected leader would not only be cognizant of the problems and doubts raised, but would be applying intelligence, and precautionary principles in evaluating and assessing the pros and cons before taking any decision.

PNG’s increasing financial debt, no medicines, roads falling apart which we are unable to maintain, owing millions of kina to oil and gas landowners, teachers, superannuation funds, schools, and increasing law and order problems are a testament to the recklessness of our politicians, and should warrant them to be conscious and rational and put the interest of our citizens and country first and above the profit interest of foreign companies!

I cannot believe the Minister has made time to meet with the Nautilus executives to hear their side of the story but is not able to meet with citizens to hear our concerns? One can easily draw conclusions of what might likely be happening, whether true or not? Politicians are supposed to allow time to hear the concerns of all parties affected by any of their decisions. This is not the case in the current situation.

Thus, one questions the Minister and whose interest was he was elected to represent?

Can someone drum some sense into the Minister, the Prime Minister and the Government?

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