Tag Archives: Mineral Resource Authority

Unauthorised Miners To Be Fined

Post Courier | September 27, 2018

The Mineral Resources Authority has started ridding unauthorized semi mechanized or mechanized mining in the country.

Unauthorized alluvial mining is predominant in the Wau and Bulolo areas of Morobe Province.

Illegal alluvial miners face a fine of up to K10,000 or prison term of up to four years.

Recently MRA issued 13 stop work notices to individuals engaged in the illegal activities in Wau and Bulolo.

MRA stated such activities are not only illegal but pose substantial environmental and safety risks to miners themselves and the surrounding communities.

MRA’s acting managing director Nathan Mosusu appealed to the miners to adhere to the regulatory requirements, which is part of MRA’s regulatory compliance responsibilities.

Mr Mosusu said MRA has in the past demonstrated its openness and commitment to developing the alluvial sector in collaboration with miners, but it is the miners’ obligation to ensure they operate in compliance.

“I am asking miners to work with MRA for the betterment of the sector. Together we can achieve results,” Mr Mosusu said.

The Mining Act 1992, section 167 states – a person shall not carry on exploration or mining on any land unless he is duly authorised under this Act.

The MRA said the deaths of alluvial miners from cave-ins caused by unauthorised mining activities, and failures to adhere to safety requirements have become common.

It said tunneling and sluicing as part of these unauthorised operations has damaged local roads especially between Wau and Bulolo.

The Wau and Bulolo areas have a long history of alluvial mining that dates back to the 1920s.

At present, there are 81 active alluvial mining tenements and 50 inactive historic tenements granted under the previous mining legislation.

The 50 historic tenements are yet to be converted to alluvial leases recognised under the current Mining Act 1992. Once converted, the terms of these converted tenements would then ensure key safety and environmental aspects of mining operations are regulated appropriately.

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Work on K3.9mil Tolukuma road delayed

The National aka The Loggers Times | September 13, 2018

WORK on the Tolukuma-Bakoiudu Road has been delayed because funds allocated for the project cannot be accessed, according to the Mineral Resources Authority.

“The K3.9 million earmarked for the 11.2km road is under the care of the Department of Finance as a result of the implementation of the Public Money Management and Regularisation Act 2017,” a statement from the authority said.

It was responding to a query from the Tolukuma Landowner Association on why the road construction had not started despite the funds having been allocated.

The contract for the road project was awarded by the Central Supplies and Tenders Board last November. The MRA then paid the contractor a mobilisation fee of K170,000 in December to start work in February this year.

It also paid K200,000 to the Department of Works to supervise the project.

Before more payments were made, the legislation came into force in April.

Funds were frozen by the Department of Finance.

“The implementation of the Public Money Management and Regularisation Act has affected not only this project but many other projects, even those funded by donor agencies such as the World Bank,” the statement said.

The authority said it had on several occasions requested the Department of Finance to allow it to access the funds but to date had not received any response.

Takeso Uson, the executive officer of the Tolukuma Landowner Association, said the tendering process was completed and K-Mele Construction had moved its machines to the project site.

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Mining Minister Queried On Expat Leaking Confidential Info And Data

Post Courier | August 31, 2018

An expatriate who has been working with the Mineral Resources Authority is claimed to be leaking confidential data and information to mining companies.

This was made known by Usino-Bundi MP Jimmy Uguro, who asked his series of questions to Mining Minister Johnson Tuke.

In his questions he asked?:

 When will the permanent managing director be appointed?;

 When will the minister appoint the MRA board chairman?;

 Is the minister aware that there are some state highly confidential data and information being disclosed to mining companies by an expatriate working in a senior position in MRA?;

 Is the minister also aware that the same expatriate is stopping a lot of economic mining projects with minor technical issues and delaying the projects?; and

 Is minister also aware that the same person was given the work permit while still working in the country?

Mr Tuke said in the case of the MD and board chairman the MRA Act was only passed some months ago.

“This has not been gazetted yet, however, once it is passed, the board will give me three names and I will put through the process,” he said.

“For the third question I am not aware of information leaking out but I will look into it, for the fourth question, I am mindful and we have policies to go by if they are conducting themselves within the law, I have no issue with that but if he is conducting himself outside of the law, I will look into that.

“For the fifth question, yes it is true and I have given directives for officers to look into that.”

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Alluvial Mining Meet Begins In Lae This Week

Post Courier | August 12, 2018

The Mineral Resources Authority will stage its 4th annual alluvial mining convention and trade show on August 14-15 at the Lae International Hotel.

Participants, presenters and attendees will include various stakeholders including gold exporters, miners and service providers.

Alluvial miners number more than 100,000 collectively contributing K300 million to the national economy in 2017.

This is an important sector of the economy that will rightly be given the attention it deserves by the government through MRA.

Under the theme ‘transitioning the alluvial mining sector for growth’, the two day program will cover programs and initiatives the MRA’s mines inspectorate has in terms of regulating safety in the alluvial mining sector.

Safety while conducting alluvial mining is an issue that the MRA has been addressing.

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ENB leaders want Sinivit gold mine reopened

location map

The National aka The Loggers Times | August 2, 2018

East New Britain leaders want the abandoned Sinivit gold mine reopened.

Governor Nakikus Konga and Sinivit LLG president Boniface Gerep said this during the launching of Sinivit road infrastructure under Sinivit mining project memorandum of agreement at Riet yesterday.

“As the former chairman of Uramot Company, the blame falls squarely on Mineral Resources Authority and the State,” he said. “Sinivit gold mine would have been a very successful mine, but unfortunately we did not get support from the mining department.”

Konga urged Mining Minister Johnson Tuke to ensure the mine reopened.

He said it was an economic opportunity for East New Britain now that the province had been given greater autonomy.

Gerep said resources owners had not benefited from the mine when the developer left abruptly.

Locals looted and vandalised everything at the mine, including explosives and chemicals.

Reports had surfaced of chemicals from abandoned vats flowing into the Warangoi River.

Tuke concurred with Konga and Gerep, saying he wanted to see the mine reopened.

He said he was ready to work with the authorities in East New Britain to ensure that the mine reopened and provided jobs for locals.

Developer New Guinea Gold Ltd abandoned the mine in Sept 2014 blaming the government and MRA for not quickly renewing their mining lease.

It was understood the matter was before the court.

MRA said that the environmental issues that had been raised were for the Conservation and Environment Protection Authority to deal with.

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Porgera landowners frustrated with State

Chairman of the Resource Owners Federation of PNG, Jonathan Paraia.

Freddy Mou | Loop PNG | July 31, 2018

The Resource Owners Federation of PNG, a landowner company for the people of Porgera in Enga, are calling on the Government to fulfil its commitment in the MoA signed between the landowners in 1989.

The landowners are claiming that breaches in the MOA have caused negative impacts on the social, environmental and economic lives of the Porgera landowners.

Chairman of the Resource Owners Federation of PNG, Jonathan Paraia, said the 1988 proposals sought State approval and issuance of a Special Mining Lease (SML) for the mine to construct mining infrastructure that was capable of processing eight thousand tons of crushed ore through its mill over a mine life of twenty years.

However, he claimed that the State allowed what was called a “minor variation” after five years of the mine operations to double the processing rate to 17,000 tons per day.

“The landowners were deceived by the State since their lodgement of their position statement, failed to address their complaints, resulting in the landowners issuing a Notice of Dispute in April of 2015 which the State also failed to respond to.”

Paraia said the landowners are now planning to invoke the arbitration provisions in the MoA.

He added that the State’s failure to respond to the legal steps being followed by the landowners pursuant to the MoA is unbecoming of a responsible government.

Paraia reiterated that State agencies, especially the Mineral Resources Authority, are negligent of their duty to deal with the dispute in an orderly and responsible manner to ensure that the complaints are properly dealt with.

He further claimed that the State’s continuous ignorance of the issues raised by the landowners will do nothing but increase the frustration and anger of those affected, which could eventually lead to the disruption of yet another resource project in the Highlands region of Papua New Guinea.

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Samar Exits MRA

Post Courier | April 17, 2018

Mineral Resources Authority’s (MRA) managing director (MD) Philip Samar’s term in office has expired since April 9.
Mr Samar served as the managing director for four years since his permanent appointment as MD from 2014-2017.
He was appointed acting MD for the MRA in 2012, a post he held until 2014 when he was made permanent.
The outgoing managing director also took the opportunity to thank the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and the government for the opportunity given to lead the MRA in the last six years since 2012.
Mr Samar thanked the Prime Minister for his confidence in appointing him to be head of the statutory authority responsible for regulating the exploration and mining sector in PNG. The last six years have been the highlight of his career over the last 21 years as a public servant.
“I am privileged to serve the government, the people of Papua New Guinea especially the mining project stakeholders and the exploration and mining industry.
“I am satisfied I have done my part in nation building through managing the MRA and servicing the mining industry. Since the MRA’s establishment in 2007, the statutory authority has performed well in regulating and promoting Papua New Guinea’s mineral sector,” he said.
Mr Samar said for the last 10 years, the mining industry has been the single largest contributor of revenue to the national purse contributing over 60 percent of revenue annually.
“This makes the sector important and the government must continue to support the sector by creating a conducive environment where the industry is allowed to operate sustainably, safely, profitably and responsibly,” Mr Samar said.
He said the government must realise the expected benefits to be derived from these projects such as employment, taxes, duties, royalties, dividends, compensation, training and business spinoffs.
As outgoing MD, Mr Samar said there was still room for more improvements and urged the government to consider to:
– Support the MRAs ongoing regulatory roles by strengthening its governance, independence and resourcing.
– Revise the proposed amendments to the Mining Act to capture additional practical administrative improvements.
– Review and revise the Mining Safety Act 1977.
– Strengthen the regulation of the small scale mining alluvial gold sector.
– Improve training, create awareness and provide capital and appropriate technology to the alluvial miners around the country.
– Change the current benefits sharing arrangements via MOAs to a more project delivery model.
– Review and revise the government’s equity participation in major mining projects.
– Better organise itself to optimise its participation in the Wafi and Frieda copper projects.

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