Tag Archives: Morobe Province

Morobe opposes fly-in-fly-out for Wafi-Golpu mine workers

Wafi-Golpu joint venture mine.

The National aka The Loggers Times | 31 July 2018

THE Morobe government does not want “fly-in-fly-out” for workers for the Wafi-Golpu mine project, says Governor Ginson Saonu.

Saonu said the proposed Nadzab Airport City would cater for the accommodation of employees.

“We are prepared to share whatever land we have to make this happen,” he said.

“We cannot just talk about it. We have plans for accommodation and all facilities that are needed by the employees of the mine.”

Saonu said this when presenting Morobe’s five-year development plan to Planning Minister Richard Maru in Port Moresby yesterday.

Maru said the government would budget for land at Nadzab to be made available to the mining company.

“We would like all the families to be located there, housing estate to be located there and they can easily go up to the mine,” Maru said.

“We want to make sure that Nadzab has a city and supermarkets.

“We must look at water, sanitation and sewerage for the airport.

“We really must have a well-planned development around Nadzab.”

Maru said he had spoken to Lands Minister Justin Tkatchenko about putting a team together for Nadzab Airport City development.

“We are excited about the mine starting up,” he said. “Wafi-Golpu will be a game changer for Morobe.”

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Morobe government eyeing 20pc stake in Wafi-Golpu mine

Junior Ukaha | The National aka The Loggers Times | 16 July 2018

THE Morobe government wants an equity of no less than 20 per cent in the Wafi-Golpu Mine.

Governor Ginson Saonu made this known last Wednesday during a two-day stakeholder forum in Lae regarding development of the proposed mine.

He said the Morobe government wanted to be an active partner in mine development.

“Apart from the legislated 2 per cent royalties, my government and people need better and attractive incentives in the form of equity,” Saonu said.

“We have made our position clear and have requested the National Government to acquire extra equity on top of the 5 per cent free carry.

“We are prepared to assist the Government to acquire this equity ourselves. We expect no less than 20 per cent equity in the project.

“We want to be a major partner with the Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture in the construction and operation phase of the project.”

Saonu also asked the Government to uplift the curfew on the tax credit scheme (TCS) programme so that money could be used to fund infrastructure projects in mine-impacted communities.

“In this case, we request that over 50 per cent of the TCS be used in Morobe alone and a further 20 per cent to be used in the SML areas of landowners and impacted communities,” he said.

He said the Morobe government remained committed to see this project get off the ground during this term of government.

Saonu thanked the project area and pipeline landowners for giving their land for the project.

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Mining Activities In Bulolo Raises Social Issues

Hidden Valley mine has already led to increased HIV infection rates and more illegal settlement

Jerry Sefe | Post Courier | June 21, 2018

There is an increase in HIV/AIDS and illegal settlements in Bulolo as a result of mining activities.

Bulolo district administrator Tae Gwambelek said this last week Friday at the Team Morobe Wafi-Gopu Mine project development forum held at the Sir Ignatius Kilage indoor complex conference hall.

The forum was held between the Morobe provincial administration, Wafi-Golpu landowners and impacted district representatives to discuss various agendas of project development services for the province and the signing of memorandum of agreement for equal participation.

Mr Gwambelek said with Bulolo becoming the main transit hub for mine workers of Hidden Valley, the town has seen a sudden increase in social issues.

“These mining activities are most likely the main attracting factors that are contributing to the influx of people into Bulolo,” Mr Gwambelek said.

He said as far as health was concerned, the term prostitution or women willingly offer themselves for sex in exchange of money was a major social problem. While that was continuing, illegal settlements were also popping up unexpectedly in town, he added.

Mr Gwambelek told the forum that there was a need for such issues to be addressed in the mine forum to ensure effectiveness of the advantages of mining in the area.

“Wafi-Golpu is a world class mine that will definitely attract investors and other developers to take part in the mine including people from everywhere, therefore it is a must these issues are strategically addressed,” he said.

Bulolo hospital has confirmed the reports of increase in HIV/AIDS victims and said the hospital will be releasing the full statistics for HIV/AIDS.

Forum chairman and deputy provincial administrator economical services Masan Moat when responding to Mr Gwambelek took note of the discussion and said the agenda would be discussed in the next forum.

Mr Moat said the purpose of the forum was to discuss and identify such issues so that they are properly tabled for positive services throughout the process.

He said one of the objectives of the forum was to address social issues to secure social stability for Wafi-Golpu project through information sharing and consultations.

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New Wafi Golpu association is registered

On June 20, the Post Courier reported landowners from the Wafi-Golpu area in Morobe Province were ‘up in arms’ over a new association claiming to represent their interests.

Harmony Gold and Newcrest Mining are hoping to build a gold and copper mine in the area.

The leaders from three existing associations representing Hengambu, Yanta and Babuaf said the Wafi Golpu Area Landowners Association and its business arm, Wafi Golpu Holdings Limited had been formed by people from outside the area.

Contrary to what was reported in the Post Courier, the new association and business group are both registered with the Investment Promotion Authority.

The Wafi Golpu Area Landowners Association was registered on 8 November 2017 by Judah Jimmy. The objectives of the association are:

  1. To engage and encourage members in the community to participate in the association’s projects to protect their environment from destruction as well as to reduce the impact of environmental destruction caused by mining exploration and development
  2. To reduce unemployment in the mining communities by increasing the employment of youths and other members of the member communities.
  3. To liaise with funding agencies with the Government and non-government organizations both domestically and internationally for the benefit of the Association, it’s members and  it’s affiliates pursuance of the Association’s objectives.
  4. To conduct awareness in member communities on the adverse impacts of mining and mining related activities.
  5. To mobilize member communities in protecting their environment from the adverse impacts of mining and mining related activities.
  6. To  secure spin off business activities from mining and mining related  activities in member communities.
  7. To design, engage, implement and monitor business projects in the member communities.
  8. To prohibit the payment of any dividends or payment in the nature of dividends or distribution of any gains to the members thereof, rather divert all properties, assets,  profits and income of this association exclusively ‘for education, and other purposes only in promoting the objectives of the Association,

Wifi Golpu Holdings Limited was registered on 23 May 2018. It has four directors who are also the shareholders in the company. They are Nawae Boga, Defo Camillus, Bill Itamar and Holmes Kissing.

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Alluvial miners want govt to reduce licensing fees

The National aka The Loggers Times | June 6, 2018

TWO alluvial miners at Wau and Bulolo, in Morobe, have called on the Government to reduce the fees needed for mining licences to help keep local people in business.

Many miners have gone out of business because they cannot afford the fees, said one of the miners, George Waure, on Friday.

Waure, who has been engaged in alluvial mining for the past 14 years, said that originally no fees were charged and miners worked freely.

The miners were also concerned with the presence of foreigners in the industry, with Prime Minister Peter O’Neill forced to come out in Parliament last month to clarify that alluvial mining was reserved for locals and not big businesses.

Westy Awiong, of Morobe Gold Field Small Scale Miners’ Association, said they were happy with the prime minister’s assurance.

Awiong said foreigners should not be involved in the sector.

“We have the experience as some of us have been mining for many years,” he said.

“If we are given financial assistance to purchase the right machines we can upgrade to commercial mining.”

Last month, Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu pointed out in Parliament that big companies were now getting into alluvial mining.

In response, O’Neill said those companies must stay out of it.

Landowners in Morobe have rejected an application by Wabu Alluvial Limited and Harmony Gold Exploration Limited for exploration licences for Bulolo Valley.

O’Neill said:

“I’m not privy to the letter that the governor is referring to, but I will instruct the mining department to look into the matter and respond in writing so that his concerns and our people’s concerns are being addressed properly.

“Generally, I support the call by the governor and the people (that) alluvial mining should be reserved for our people and not necessarily large international companies.

“I understand Harmony and the other companies have applied for exploration licences which are different from alluvial mining.”

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‘All Alluvial Mining Should Be Reserved’

PM Peter O’Neill says all alluvial mining should be reserved for Papua New Guineans

Post Courier | May 31, 2018

PRIME Minster Peter O’Neill says all alluvial mining in the country should be reserved for Papua New Guineans.

Mr O’Neill said he agrees with the decision and the stances the Morobe provincial government took in allowing Papua New Guineans to mine and take ownership of alluvial mines.

He said although he was not aware of the letter from the Morobe Goldfield Mine Association, he would instruct the Minster for Mining and the department to look into the concern of the people who did not want explorations licences to be issued to big mining companies.

“I’m not privy to the letter, generally I support the call and stand of the Morobe provincial government that alluvial mines should be reserved to our people.

“Big companies should not be involved in alluvial mining in PNG.”

Mr O’Neill said this during Question Time yesterday in response to Morobe Governor Ginson Soanu who had asked that the Morobe Goldfield Mine Association oppossed the issuing of alluvial mine exploration licences to big companies to be involved in alluvial exploration and mining in Wau-Bulolo.

Mr Soanu said that Morobe provincial government supported the association, which involved villagers and ordinary people, and wanted the Minster for Mining Johnson Tuke, the Department of Mines and MRA not to issue any licence to Harmony Exploration Limited and Abu Exploration Limited for EL2544 and EL2554 in the Wau-Bulolo area.

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PNG gold and copper mine to cost JV partners an extra $1bn upfront

Newcrest managing director Sandeep Biswas. Philip Gostelow

Darren Gray | Sydney Morning Herald | 19 March 2018

Newcrest Mining will plough an an extra $US1 billion ($A1.3 billion) in upfront capital into developing a new gold and copper mine in Papua New Guinea.

Australia’s biggest gold miner released the estimate for the Wafi-Golpu project on Monday showing total capital expenditure for the life of mine,  situated about 65 kilometres south west of PNG’s second-biggest city Lae,  would fall by about the same amount to $US5.38 billion.

The cost of the project will be split between Newcrest and Harmony Gold Mining Company.

The Wafi-Golpu project is a key part of Newcrest’s future, and is considered the company’s top growth asset. It has an expected “life of mine” of about 28 years.The updated feasibility study estimates it would produce on average about 161,000 tonnes of copper per year, which is about double the group’s copper guidance for fiscal 2018. The study estimates it would produce about 266,000 ounces of gold per year.

Newcrest attributed the higher upfront capital cost, relative to earlier studies, to the “adoption of deep sea tailings storage” to deal with tailings from the mining operation, construction of an on-site power plant, a larger processing plant and a deeper and larger initial block cave.

In a statement the company said its latest feasibility research identified deep sea tailings storage as the preferred option for managing tailings, and came after examination of 45 possible sites considered for land-based tailings storage dams or dry-stacking sites.

Newcrest highlighted a number of disadvantages from using a land-based storage, determining that the amount of storage volumes required “would result in a large disturbance footprint over an area which can have high traditional heritage and economic value, high biodiversity, and/or displacement of communities and their livelihoods”.

The miner also cited the project area’s “high seismicity and complex geology, including active faulting, which could at some sites result in liquefiable soils. Complex design would be required to partly mitigate such factors, and that would carry high risk and high cost in both construction and ongoing operation.”

The area’s high rainfall was also mentioned, a factor requiring costly and significant management and treatment plans. “Any structure would contain very large amounts of water with commensurate risks.”

The Wafi-Golpu update comes less than two weeks after mining operations at Newcrest’s Cadia mine in NSW were suspended because of a slump in a tailings dam wall.

Executive project director Bryan Bailie told Fairfax Media in an interview from PNG that the selection of deep sea tailings placement as the preferred option for tailings management “had nothing to do” with the recent Cadia dam incident.

Mr Bailie said the PNG government recognised the potential of the project to make a significant economic and social contribution to PNG.

“If developed the project is expected to create economic benefits across Papua New Guinea and the Morobe province, including an estimated 2500 direct jobs during construction and about 850 during operations.

“The project will also contribute at a local, provincial and national level through the payment of royalties and taxes, through social investment programs etcetra,” he said.

“In all the time that I’ve certainly been involved in the project the PNG government has been very supportive of this project, the local communities are the same,” he said.

Newcrest managing director Sandeep Biswas said the company had a clear path forward for the project.

“The improved business case set out in the updated Feasibility Study clearly demonstrates the world-class nature of this multi-decade project,” he said.

Shares in Newcrest rose two cents to close at $19.75.

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