Tag Archives: Morobe Province

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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Zifasing community dispute MMJV claims of consent to Wafi-Golpu pipeline



The Zifasing people in Morobe Province are accusing Harmony Gold and Newcrest Mining of lying over claims (see media story below) they have consented to the laying of a pipeline and access road for the Wafi-Golpu mine across their land. 

Kenn Mondiai

Another TWISTING of the TRUTH by the use of the Media !!!

The MAJORITY of the Zifasing Clans & Community never attended the MRA Warden’s Hearing on the 23/11/2016 (13:00pm) at Zifasing Ward 19 Wampar LLG regarding SML for Wafi Glopu to give their approval, they never agreed to the access road or the pipeline passing through their land. 

The gazetted location was “Zifasing Community Hall”, but there is no such place at Zifasing. The common and known traditional meeting place at Zifasing is the Community Meeting Place in the centre of village under the mango trees.

Instead the Warden’s Hearing was held outside and away at a Hall build by politicians far from the village centre (traditional meeting place) with a few people without ALL CLAN LEADERS & WARD 19 COUNCILLOR.

The Mining Advisory Council (MAC) should know the TRUTH !!!

Community agrees to pipeline proposal
Pisai Gumar | The National aka The Loggers Times | 25 November 2016
THE Zifasing community in Huon Gulf, Morobe agreed this week to let Morobe Mining Joint Venture (MMJV)* build an access pipeline through their land.
The pipeline from the interior Wafi-Golpu project site is anticipated to cross over the Watut and Markham rivers and run through clan land in Wampar before reaching the Lae main wharf.
Based on an MMJV mining engineering plan and the Mining Act section 108, Special Mining Lease (SML) 10 caters for mining easement 91 (ME 91) pipeline and mining easement 93 (ME 93) northern access road.
Zifasing village land mobilisation chairman Nathan Aquila told Chief Mining Warden Andrew Gunua and MMJV community affairs manager David Masani said that the entire community agreed to this pipeline proposal.
Aquila also asked whether it would be possible for MMJV to build a pump station on customary land instead of the Markham Farm, which was a State lease. Masani told Aquila that the decision to build a pump station was based on the mining engineering plan but the nature and magnitude of the operation at Wafi-Golpu would determine if there would be need be expand onto customary land in future.
Gunua and Kevin Gamenu from the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) are conducting the warden hearings with landowners at Yanta and Hengabu from Mumeng, Bulolo, Babuaf and others anticipated to be impacted by the mine pipeline and access road.
Masani told the villagers that the 32 km road would start from the interior project site and cross the major Watut and Markham rivers as well as the three small creeks.
Meanwhile, Saab-Babuaf clans from Mare and Chiatz villages interjected and raised concern over the course of the pipeline from Wafi across Watut.
They said the pipeline would encroach on their land so they would like to know the full extent of the environmental impacts.

* Harmony Gold and Newcrest Mining are the owners of Morobe Mining Joint Venture


Filed under Environmental impact, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

Sam Basil becomes a mining convert despite social and environmental impacts

MP Sam Basil made his reputation opposing the environmental destruction caused by the Hidden Valley mine but now seems converted to a model of development that drives a bulldozer through PNG’s Constitutional goals and means inevitable suffering for rural people… Seems our leaders always get diverted by the smell of money!

Bulolo District involves in Mining


The district administration of Bulolo is venturing into mining by directly involving as a big player in the shareholding stakes.

The Bulolo District Development Authority has been granted two mining exploration licenses and is now holding talks to engage two overseas mining companies to partner it.

Bulolo MP and Deputy Opposition Leader Sam Basil, says they want to benefit more from their mineral resources and sees this as a good opportunity to maximize their benefits under the enabling powers of the authority to do business.

He says, Wau and Bulolo towns have not changed a decade on since the Hidden Valley mine began operation.
Mr. Basil says this is because its revenues are shared between the developer, the national and provincial governments, leaving the electorate with nothing.

Basil says being a mining area, his district government wants to exploit their own wealth by taking a bigger shareholder stake in the venture.

The two licenses covers exploration in Bulldog and Waria.


Filed under Environmental impact, Exploration, Financial returns, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

Small-scale mining could deliver K1 billion in revenue

Small scale miner in PNG granted license


SMALL Scale Mining activities in Wau/Bulolo district of Morobe Province have contributed K4 million to the Government in terms of revenue.

wauMineral Resources Authority (MRA) Small Scale Mining branch manager Al Comparativo told small scale miners when presenting mining lease licenses to lease holders at Misis Booth near Wau last Saturday.

Mr Comparativo said the revenue should increase to K1 billion through approved mining licences.

The lease license number 270-277 was handed over to the mining lease holder Westie Awiong.

“I congratulate Awiong for being granted a mining licence by MRA to conduct proper mining operations after meeting all the small scale mining lease requirements.

“There are more than 124 mining licence applications waiting to be processed by MRA and four (4) mining licences had been granted. Three lease holders are from Wau in Morobe and one from Milne Bay Province,” he said.

Comparativo said the process of acquiring a mining lease is long and the mining lease holder must meet all the regulatory requirements by submitting a detailed survey report, development plan, compensation, environmental plan and financial capacity reports and submit it to MRA for its screening and approval.

He explained that Mr Awiong had met all the requirements and had been granted the mining licence by MRA to conduct mining operations at the ML 270-277 at Misis Booth in Wau.

The Philippine graduate geologist who spent 17 years in PNG said Wau/Bulolo had a long mining history during the colonial era and it should be restored back to its former glory as the leading and historical mining town in PNG, now and into the future.

Mining lease holder Mr Awiong thanked MRA for granting him the mining licence and also his partner Wabu Alluvial Mining Ltd for entering into a joint venture partnership agreement with him to help to get the alluvial mining project off the ground in Wau.

“I am grateful and honoured and thank MRA and JV partner Wabu Alluvial Mining Ltd for providing financial assistance to get this project off the ground,” a delighted Awiong said.

“I also encourage other small scale mining lease holders in Wau/Bulolo to follow the legal process to obtain the mining licence to venture into mining operations.”

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