Tag Archives: Julius Chan

Last Chan-Ce

The Political Career Of One Of The Youngest Members Of Parliament And Mining Minister Byron James Chan Is About To End Today

Gorethy Kenneth | Post Courier | July 13, 2017

The political career of one of the youngest members of parliament and mining minister Byron James Chan is about to end today.
National Alliance Party president Walter Schnaubelt is four ballot boxes away from being declared winner of the Namatani seat in New Ireland province. Schnaubelt has polled 15,843 votes after 19 of the 24 boxes had been counted, and needs more than 2000 votes for the 50+1 allowable votes in order to be declared.
Byron Chan’s father and New Ireland Governor, Sir Julius Chan, is also struggling in second place in the regional seat, and People’s Progress Party leader Ben Micah is in the same boat in the Kavieng open.
Counting is slow in New Ireland so Schnaubelt’s inevitable victory may not be declared until later today to end the brief political career of the mining minister.
Elsewhere, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill is a sitting Members who will be re-elected and an announcement is likely sometime today in his Ialibu- Pangia electorate.
O’Neill has polled 25,377 votes so far and will need a total of 33,400+1 allowable votes to be declared re-elected on the first count.
That’s excluding the informal votes/ballot papers. Counting was proceeding last night on 58 boxes out of 114 so Mr O’Neill needs about 8000 votes to be declared.
By week’s end there should be two more declarations – in the Highlands region and New Guinea Islands – as counting for 102 of the 111 seats start while nine seats are still counting. The last 18 polling stations are due to close today after throughout Papua New Guinea as the National Election winds down.
Two seats have been declared, retained by the ruling People’s National Congress Party members James Marape in Tari-Pori, Hela Province, and Justin Tkatchenko for Moresby South yesterday.
People’s National Congress Party has candidates in the top three throughout the country in progressive tallies. National Alliance Party and Pangu Party are also doing well, especially in the Momase region while independents have made an impact.
THE Party has started on a slow mode as counting continues in 17 provinces.

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Chan calls for changes to PNG Mining Act before polls

Governor of PNG's New Ireland Province, Julius Chan. Photo: RNZI/ Peter Kinjap

Governor of PNG’s New Ireland Province, Julius Chan. Photo: RNZI/ Peter Kinjap

The Governor of Papua New Guinea’s New Ireland province has come out in support of calls for changes to the Mining Act before next year’s elections.

Sir Julius Chan, who is a former PNG prime minister, said he backs statements by Hidden Valley’s Nakuwi Landowner’s Association that citizens should have more ownership of mineral extraction operations.

The association is frustrated at long delays to a revised agreement regarding the Newcrest’s Hidden Valley mine in Morobe province that would guarantee landowners and local communities more benefits.

In recent years elements of the government have indicated the Mining Act could be modified to give landowners more control of the wealth from mining.

However, speaking at this month’s PNG Mining and Petroleum Investment Conference in Sydney, the prime minister Peter O’Neill ruled out any changes to the Act before the 2017 elections.

The Mining minister Byron Chan echoed this.

But Mr Chan’s father, Sir Julius, said PNG people have suffered for too long under a Mining Act that literally steals the wealth from their land.

He said that the level of royalties which mining companies pay in PNG compared to overseas “completely screws the landowners and provinces”.

“Our people are getting almost nothing from the huge amount of wealth coming from their ground,” he complained. “It all goes to the company and the National Government, and none of it comes back to the people.”

Sir Julius criticised the O’Neill government for reneging on various promises made to him in return for his party’s support for the formation of the coalition in 2012.

This included commitments on renegotiating the Memorandum of Agreement for the Lihir Gold Mine in New Ireland.

“Government has dragged its feet for literally four years, ever since 2012 when the MoA came up for the regular five-year review,” he explained.

“National Government should be protecting the rights and the interests of the landowners and people, but instead it just delays and acts as the stooge for the Mining companies. This has to stop “

The New Ireland governor said his administration fully supported the Nakuwi Landowners in their intent to shut down the Hidden Valley Mine unless government signs a new MoA.

Sir Julius said it is time for Mining Provinces and landowners to come together to insist on a fair deal from the great wealth that is coming out of their land.

“I think we need to sit down together and come to agreement on how we want the entire mining regime, the entire mining system, to work.”

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New Ireland governor casts more doubt on PNG seabed mining

An experimental seabed mining machine

An experimental seabed mining machine

Radio New Zealand | 8 December 2016

The Governor of Papua New Guinea’s New Ireland province has cast further doubt on the viability of seabed mining.

Sir Julius Chan, who is a former prime minister, says he is in a dilemma over the Solwara 1 mining project planned for the sea in his province.

While he is keen on economic developments, Sir Julius said the sea is the “garden” of his people, yet the impacts of seabed exploration are a set of unknowns.

Although interested in what new technologies can achieve, he questions the veracity of the environmental impact study by project developer Nautilus.

“Maybe they have found some solutions to the environmental protection and I would be far behind if I don’t look into the future, if I stop the whole project now then possibly I may miss out, if I allow it to happen it may be disastrous for my people.”

The national government has a 15 percent stake in Solwara 1, yet Sir Julius said his provincial government has not taken up an offer to buy in to the project at this stage.

He said the national government has not properly consulted the province about such developments and just bulldozes them through.

This is why, according to Sir Julius, his provincial assembly in September unilaterally declared New Ireland to be an autonomous province of PNG.

The government has yet to formally respond to this.

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Julius Chan speaks out against experimental seabed mining

Undersea mining not beneficial, says Sir J

Undersea mining not beneficial, says ex-PM and New Ireland Governor, Julius Chan

The National aka The Loggers Times | November 28, 2016

NEW Ireland Governor Sir Julius Chan has spoken out against undersea mining in his province by Nautilus Minerals.
He said New Ireland had also not benefited fully from the Lihir mine.
Sir Julius said last Friday that he had a lot of reservations given the possible environmental impact of undersea mining in his province.
“When you drill down, one-mile deep, I don’t know,” he said.
“The sea, in my province, is the garden of my people.
“That’s why we don’t have too much food security problems.
“I have great reservations and I want to tell you that I’m not a friend of Nautilus. They make all kinds of promises.
“They even promised me they would build bridges four years ago but they did not even design a bridge for me to have a look at.
“I’ve trod very cautiously on this one.”
Sir Julius said the Lihir Island had also not benefitted fully from the mine.
“After 20 years, Lihir has not even got a proper ring road,” he said.
“The water is polluted, sometimes the fish die.
“They say all the nice and promising things in their negotiations, but when they start to operate, they put up barricades.”

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New Ireland chiefs welcome Kauona reconciliation

Former Bougainville Revolutionary Army commander Sam Kauona ... reconciliation praised and condemned

Former Bougainville Revolutionary Army commander Sam Kauona … reconciliation praised and condemned

Pacific Media Centre | November 23, 2016

The combined New Ireland chiefs in Papua New Guinea led by chief Demas Kavavu and political leaders including former National Alliance strongman, Pedi Anis, have welcomed the invitation for reconciliation from the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) commander, Sam Kauona, and his people of the Central Bougainville region with the former Prime Minister and now Governor of New Ireland, Sir Julius Chan.

But the move has been strongly criticised by the Bougainville Freedom Movement.

The chiefs rallied behind the Governor, Sir Julius, to support what they term as a courageous step for peace from the BRA Commander with the authority and authenticity being the first to meet with Sir Julius within three days of him assuming the Prime Ministership of Papua New Guinea in 1994 in Honiara during the height of the Bougainville conflict.

The late Bishop Gregory Singkai was with Sir Julius that made possible the face to face human dialogue between Sir Julius and Kauona, whom Sir Julius described as courteous and very respectful in the face of great adversity.

Kauona in a news release in The National newspaper last Thursday broke his long silence as a prominent figure in the 16 year-long Bougainville conflict and declared his political allegiance to the People’s Progress Party and its founder Sir Julius.

He cited his involvement in brokering peace talks that culminated in the moving reconciliation ceremony in Kavieng between the late President Joseph Kabui on behalf of the people of Bougainville and Sir Julius on behalf of New Ireland.

Kauona said Sir Julius showed the way to address issues and although he participated in reconciliations in Buka and Kavieng he and the PPP should reconcile with the people of Central Bougainville because it was the nerve centre of the conflict.

New Ireland held Peace and Reconciliation consultation with President Joseph Kabui and was the only Province that sent an official government delegation to attend Kabui’s funeral and later reciprocated with the second Peace and Reconciliation with the Acting President, James Tanis, in Buka.

Responding to Kauona’s press release, Governor Sir Julius said from his home in Huris that he had kept close and friendly ties with the people of Bougainville through their President John Momis.

He was very encouraged by Kauona’s comments and awaited the opportunity to strengthen friendship with him and people of Central Bougainville.

“I have no qualms, no grudges, no ill-will against anyone in Bougainville as we are partly one heritage, one genesis and I thank Kauona for his straight talk and welcome him to visit and strengthen ties with New Ireland,” said Sir Julius.

“We need to eradicate all misunderstanding to hand a peaceful solid baton to the young generation for our two Provinces,” he said.

The Bougainville Freedom Movement said in a statement:

“Considering that Sir Julius Chan says he has no regrets over his handling of the Sandline mercenary affair, to kill, maim and murder the people of Bougainville, it is very difficult to understand why the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) Commander, Sam Kauona has declared his political allegiance to the People’s Progress Party and its founder Sir Julius Chan.

“The power of the people in Papua New Guinea (PNG), prompted Jerry Singirok, the General of the PNG Defence Forces to stop the hired killers of Sandline mercenaries by taking them hostage in 1997. This is what stopped the war on Bougainville and allowed peace to prevail.

“It also led to the downfall of Sir Julius Chan and his government.

“This year in March 2016, Sir Julius Chan released his autobiography and still says that if he had been allowed to continue with the Sandline mercenary operation to put down the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) and the people of Bougainville in 1997, he would have been able to bring the island of Bougainville under control.

“So now in November 2016, it seems Sir Julius Chan has the General Commander of the BRA under control, like a wish come true.”

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Ex-PM Julius Chan calls for mining revolution

julius chan

Rowan Callick | The Australian | August 19, 2016

Former Papua New Guinea leader Julius Chan has applauded Prime Minister Peter O’Neill for giving landowners and local governments a bigger stake in mines in Bougainville and Western Province — but he says it fails to go far enough.

The Panguna mine on Bougainville island is one of the South Pacific’s largest for copper and gold but has been shut since 1989 after attacks by secessionist rebels in a conflict that has cost an estimated 10,000 lives.

Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto had a 53.8 per cent stake in Bougainville Copper Limited, which controls Panguna, but last month said it would give its share to the PNG government and Bougainville’s autonomous administration, leaving both parties with a 36.4 per cent stake.

It was the first time Bougainville’s autonomous administration had owned a stake in Panguna.

Mr O’Neill told parliament on Wednesday his government — which already has a 19 per cent share of BCL — would transfer the 17.4 per cent stake from Rio to Bougainville to “help to alleviate some of the legacy issues of the past”.

Mr ONeill also announced that 33 per cent of the Ok Tedi mine — originally developed by BHP Billiton, which ceded its control to a trust that his government controversially nationalised — would be given “to the people of Western ­Province”.

Sir Julius told the parliament in Port Moresby that a bill he introduced into the parliament in 2014 “would completely revolutionise mining in the country,” including the legal regime and resource ownership.

It would hand over all sub-soil assets to landowners — in effect, robbing the national government of the largest single portion of its revenues.

The mining, gas and oil industry, PNG’s most successful sector, has campaigned strongly against this potential change of ownership.

It was unclear whether Mr O’Neill would support Sir Julius’s bill at the final stage.

But the fact that his extensive announcement on Wednesday of a shift in resource share ownership did not mention the bill might indicate that he intends to oppose it.

Sir Julius said Mr O’Neill’s announcement “has taken a long time, but nevertheless, I welcome it”.

The Post-Courier newspaper said yesterday in an editorial that transferring the Panguna stake “is a step in the right direction and bodes well for the reconciliation and peace process” leading towards a referendum on independence in June 2019.

Yesterday’s report headlined “Bougainville given gold mine” incorrectly said Ok Tedi is in Bougainville. The error occurred in the production process.

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Chan pushes Lihir peace talks

A gorgor, made from the twisted leaves of a ginger plant

A gorgor, made from the twisted leaves of a ginger plant, at the Lihir mine site

Francis Uliau | The National aka The Loggers Times | May 9, 2016
THE State, through the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA), continued the peace process between major stakeholders in the Lihir gold project in Namatanai, New Ireland, on Friday.
“Mining Minister Byron Chan and New Ireland Governor Sir Julius Chan both attended with a big delegation including MRA officials from head office in Port Moresby,” Lihir Mining Area Landowners Association (LMALA) chairman James Laketan told The National on Friday.
MRA Lihir project coordinator Vincent Kisso could not be contacted to provide background reports on the event.
Questions over MRA’s (and the State’s) stance on issues and laws governing gorgor placements also remained outstanding.
Friday’s ceremony was a follow-up to the spiritual and traditional reconciliations held in Kavieng and on Lihir Island in February and March.
Minister Chan, who attended the March 5 traditional reconciliation ceremony between the Nimamar LLG and LMALA spoke highly of the peace process and assured all parties, including local landowners and developer Newcrest Mining Limited that the National Government fully endorsed the current way forward.
He assured the project proponents that Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and all Cabinet ministers had recognised and endorsed the reconciliation ceremonies.
Governor Sir Julius did not attend the March 5 traditional ceremony because he was then overseas for a minor surgery. However, he was on the island on Friday.
Laketan said part three of the reconciliation process on Friday would allow for outstanding benefits and commitments in the Lihir memorandum of agreement (MOA) and integrated benefits package (IBP) to be honoured.
“Mining activities on Lihir are ongoing and all project proponents must also step up on our activities.
“The Lihir Agreements Review (LAR) process is long overdue. Now is the time to sit down with the State, through MRA, and developer Newcrest and fast-track all prerequisites to the IBP,” Laketan said.
“The Lihirian people have suffered enough.
“Years of infighting have created instability and suffering for our people.”
A review of the IBP had been outstanding since 2007.
LMALA general manager Joachim Malele said the ongoing conflict had affected the implementation of projects and programmes under the Lihir Sustainable Development Plan (LSDP).
Malele, who was general manager LSDP until his elevation to head LMALA in late March, said there was a major need to progress all chapters of LSDP through the State, landowner association and the local, district and provincial governments.
Meanwhile, describing LAR, MOA and IBP processes as “taking too long”, Minister Chan said MRA and Newcrest Mining must release all outstanding commitments, including grants and benefits, to the Lihir people and their local, district and provincial governments.
“Put aside your differences and progress discussions to obtain and deliver what rightfully belongs to the people,” the minister said.

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