Tag Archives: Mineral Resource Authority

No decision made in Bulolo licence application

Bulolo township

The National aka The Loggers Times | November 15, 2017

THE Mineral Resource Authority has clarified that a decision is yet to be made on the application for an exploration licence in Bulolo.
Managing director Philip Samar was responding to the claim by Bulolo district administrator Tae Gwambelek that an exploration licence (EL2544) had been issued.
Gwambelek had supported the objection by business houses, Papua New Guinea Forest Products and town residents over the alleged issuing of the exploration licence over existing leases near the town.
But Samar said no licence had been issued.
Samar said the MRA would conduct a wardens-hearing to allow the public and stakeholders to discuss their concerns and raise objections against the application.
After that, he said the warden would table a report with the mining advisory council for consideration.
“There will be no need for a township relocation just because an EL application has been lodged,” he said.
He also clarified that the MRA “does not issue tenements”.
“It recommends (it) to the minister or the head of the state,” Samar said.
Gwambelek said the application would be opposed.
“Bulolo residents are prepared for the scheduled hearing on November 28 to tell the warden that Australia has done enough damage to land in Bulolo,” Gwambelek said.
Morobe acting Governor Waka Daimon said that the land from Golden Pine Bridge to McAdams Park across to Manki Tower and along the Watut River down to Pine Top was owned by the National Forest Authority.

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Bulolo opposing new mining exploration

Bulolo township

The National aka The Loggers Times| November 10, 2017

THE Bulolo district administration is strongly opposing a licence for exploration activities near the town because the land had been damaged by past explorations, Administrator Tae Gwambelek says.

The administration is supporting the move by the business community and PNG Forest Products  (PNGFP) after the Mineral Resource Authority  (MRA) issued EL2544 to the Wabu Alluvial Mining company  (WAM).

Administrator Tae Gwambelek said Australia had done enough damage to land in Bulolo leaving behind huge craters on which the township was built.

“History will never be repeated again,” Gwambelek said.

“We have Hidden Valley and Wafi-Golpu mining including many small-scale activities. That is enough.”

Gwambelek said the Bulolo district development authority also acquired an exploration licence from MRA to conduct explorations outside Wau and Bulolo towns.

“How on earth, will MRA issue the EL 2544 to WAM to conduct explorations within the town? It is illogical,” he said.

“Bulolo town is not an exploration area and we totally object to the idea.

“We have PNGFP, National Forest Authority, University of Bulolo, Telikom Exchange, district administration office, police and courthouse and many small businesses operating in town and paying taxes to the government.

He said as the district chief executive representing 102,118 people in 324 villages and 108 wards, the idea was 100 per cent rejected.

He said the scheduled warden hearing on Nov 28, would be facilitated in front of the district headquarters to allow people to air their views.

Bulolo business representative Aaron Akui urged Minister for Mining Johnson Tuke and MRA chief executive Philip Samar to review the decision.

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Locals threaten to shut down Tolukuma mine

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Cedric Patjole | PNG Loop | November 11, 2017

Landowners of the Tolukuma Mine in Goilala District, Central Province, have issued an ultimatum to the Government to withdraw the mining lease from operators, Asidokona, or they will shut down the mine.

Chairman of the Yulai Landowner Group, George Gusi, announced on his Facebook profile yesterday that a seven-day ultimatum was given, which lapses on Monday, November 20.

Gusi stated that the current operator was not capable of operating the mine and called for its withdrawal and for another operator to invest in the mine.

“I have given 7 days’ ultimatum for the government to withdraw the mining licence from Asidokona Mining Resources Ltd.

“The rationale behind this? Asidokona has no capacity to operate a mine.” He alleges the operator lacks financial capacity as well as expertise.

“I am taking this bold action to rescue my suffering landowners to make way for a potential investor to come in and invest on our land,” said Gusi.

“MRA and other concerned authorities must come out clear and provide clear explanation on this issue. “I have already woken up from my long sleep now so I will continue to pursue until I achieve what I want.

“My appeal to all those relevant authorities to be patriotic to our country, our people and take our people’s issues/concerns at heart in ensuring that any decisions made are there to serve the best interest of our people,” he added.

When contacted by Loop PNG, Gusi claims formal notices have been issued to the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA), Mining Minister Johnston Tuke and other stakeholders.

He said if a favourable response is not received by the due date, they will shut down the mine.

In June this year Gusi snubbed the signing of the Tolukuma Mine memorandum of agreement (MOA), citing unmet outstanding issues.

Despite Asidokona being granted the mining licence, return to production has been problematic. Last month the MRA stated that tenement, regulatory and funding issues have stalled production.

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High corruption risks in several areas: Mining Report

Cedric Patjole | PNG Loop | October 26, 2017

A Transparency International PNG Country Report has revealed high corruption risks in several areas of the Mining Licences Process.

The report, which was launched today, has highlighted key areas that need to be addressed urgently to minimise the risk of corruption.

The report comes from TIPNG’s participation in a global research initiative called the Mining for Sustainable Development (M4SD) program.

TIPNG says the need to identify risks in the mining licence process is because the awards process is the start of the mining value chain and any effects of corruption there will be passed along, eventually impacting the country’s sustainable development.

TIPNG Chairman, Lawrence Stephens, said regulatory systems should be improved so that the wealth generated from the mining sector should be used for the welfare of Papua New Guinea.

“Through reports like this that we can start to make a difference, start to assist people whose job it is to try to make sure all the people of this country benefit,” he said.

The high risk areas highlighted in the report include cross-institutional capacity; human resources of regulatory agencies; coherence of feasibility studies and MOAs, lack of a national geospatial agency; consultation, representative bodies and associated business entities; lack of CSR reporting requirements; and risks concerning women, vulnerable persons and marginalised groups.

Present at the launch was Mineral Resources Authority Managing Director, Phillip Samar, who said some of the issues highlighted are not new to them but are ongoing.

However, he said the MRA will continue to have dialogue and work with TIPNG to address the issues raised.

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Mining industry to extract K11 billion from PNG in 2017

K11 billion mining revenue for 2017
Cedric Patjole | PNG Loop | October 4, 2017

K11 billion in mineral revenue is expected to be generated from both large and small scale mining in 2017.

This is based on gures reported from January to August, according to the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA).

The MRA says this revenue is the result of continued overall increases in mineral commodity prices, production and ore exports.

In a statement, the MRA says the estimated K11 billion revenue represents an increase of 13.4 percent against 2016 mineral revenue, underpinning an ongoing upward trend in mineral receipts which will boost the economy.

Based on gures from operating mines in the country, major projects expect to surpass results from 2016.

Ok Tedi Mine forecasts indicate a 2017 end of year outturn of an additional K700 million, with revenue potentially exceeding K2.7 billion.

Lihir is also turning in another solid performance and revenue forecasts indicate an increase in 2016 of around K200 million, exceeding K3.7 billion for the full year.

Ramu operations still continue to suffer from regulatory and compliance issues, however 2017 production has improved and could exceed 2016’s disruptive year by K300 million.

Revenue from the newly re-opened Kainantu mine is estimated at over K8 million from the first two shipments. Unfortunately the mine suffered a significant setback with illegal damage caused by landowners and this will take some months to recover from.

Simberi mine continues to generate revenue despite moving towards closure next year, coincident with the expiry of their mining lease.

Porgera and the alluvial sector are maintaining reasonably steady positions, while Hidden Valley mine has entered its temporary closure phase. Loss of revenue during this period will hopefully be made up by Kainantu once they return to production.

The Tolukuma mine remains problematic as they struggle with tenement and regulatory issues as well as funding, all of which is hindering a return to production under new owners, Asidokona.

Crater Mountain mine is also a icted by nancial di culties with the failure of a capital raising, but it is hoped that the board and management changes will nally see some positive results from this small operation shortly.

The MRA says while gold still represents an ‘unhealthy’ 68.75 percent of PNG mineral revenue, this percentage has been whittled away by the increase in copper, nickel and cobalt providing that widening of the mineral base’.

The gold price has again uctuated wildly with a recent spike on the back of international tensions surrounding North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, hitting over $USD1340 early in September, only to have now dropped back below $USD1290.

Copper, nickel and cobalt have also continued to rise erratically in recent months with copper hitting a 52 week high of $USD3.13/lb in September.

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Mine attack threatens investor [exploiter] confidence: MRA

Cedric Patjole | Loop PNG | September 5, 2017

The re attack at the Kainantu Gold Mine last week has seriously threatened investor [exploiter] confidence in a big way, according to Mineral Resources Authority Managing Director, Philip Samar.

In a media conference yesterday, Samar said the attack on the mine developer K92 Mining Inc, which was a new company to PNG and who invested millions of kina to revive the mine, had serious implications.

He said the company spent the last two years carrying out maintenance at the mine site and only began selling in July, of which the true bene ts were yet to be seen when the attack occurred.

“It’s really discouraging,” said Samar.

“There will be people (investors) watching and wondering what’s going to happen next.”

According to K92 Mining Inc, K120 million (US$40 million) was injected to restart the mine while its total annual operating expenditure sits at K77 million per annum.

There have also been payments to landowners to the tune of K2 million while local landowner contracts total K738,000.

Samar said with such level on investment, any outstanding issues must be addressed through the proper channels and not by landowners taking the law into their own hands.

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Alluvial Mining Employs 80,000 in PNG

alluvial miners at work

Alluvial miners at work on Bougainville

Alluvial Mining Activities In The Country Are Largely Unregulated, According To The PNG Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (PNGEITI) Report 2014.

Post Courier | August 2, 2017

Alluvial mining activities in the country are largely unregulated, according to the PNG Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (PNGEITI) Report 2014.
This leaves authorities and stakeholders with limited information about this segment of the mining industry. According to the report, alluvial mining accounted for 120,000 ounces of gold, representing around six percent of the total gold mined in PNG and K373.4 million in export revenue. Some 49,000 ounces of silver were also produced, to the value of K2.3 million.
“The Mining Act 1992 allows people to mine for alluvial minerals on their own land by non-mechanical means without the need for a mining licence,” the report said.
“Ninety percent of alluvial miners in PNG use rudimentary sluice boxes and gold panning dishes.”
This sector is therefore largely unregulated, and there is limited information about its size. The MRA estimates that there are up to 80,000 small-scale miners in this category.”
The report states that to date, over 4,000 of these have completed training at the Mineral Resource Authority’s small-scale mining centre in Wau, Morobe.
“Small-scale mining conducted with powered machinery requires an Alluvial Mining Lease or Mining Lease (for alluvial purposes) from the MRA. The former are granted for up to five hectares of land that is a riverbed and extends no further than 20 metres from any riverbed. The latter may cover up to 60km2. There is a requirement for a minimum 51 percent ownership by PNG nationals. In 2014, there were 183 current Alluvial Mining Leases and 136 Mining Leases (for alluvial purposes).
Alluvial miners sell their gold to traders, who then on-sell it to one of 16 licensed exporters, regulated by the Bank of PNG.
The MRA checks the export forms and raises levies on the export. The MRA felt that levels of illegal export were low, but other estimates have suggested this could be as high as to be an equivalent volume to the official quantity recorded,” the report said.
PNGEITI head of National Secretariat Lucas Alkan said alluvial mining and associated activities contributed to the economic wellbeing of a good number of people living in remote parts of the country. “This warrants putting in place strong coordination and regulatory mechanisms to keep track of opportunities and challenges that someone engaged in alluvial mining is faced with.”
“Taking an inclusive government approach in regulating different facets of the mining industry is important. In this way, we can give every participant a fair shake,” he said.

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