Tag Archives: MRA

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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Govt Urged Not To Rush Mining Laws

Post Courier | July 25, 2017

The Mineral Resources Authority’s (MRA) challenge going forward, is for it to reposition itself to effectively regulate the sector through the amendments to the laws that are before parliament. These include the Mining Act and the Mineral Resources Act. This is from MRA’s outgoing board chairman Robin Moaina.

Mr Moiana has been replaced by Ok Tedi Mining Limited’s deputy chief executive officer Musje Werror after 10 years at the helm of this regulatory entity.

Mr Moaina said both acts were before parliament.

He said the MRA board was never informed nor consulted on the whole process of how the Government went about amending the MRA Act in particular, and which remained a concern to him.

He had appealed to the incoming government not to rush into passing both amended acts; instead, to re-engage on the fundamentals of these proposed legislations.

He said this is to ensure the growth and investment of the exploration and mining sector in PNG.

The outgoing chairman said he was proud of MRA’s achievements over the past decade, and he was confident the authority would continue to support the government through its role.

“The organisation has grown from strength to strength and developed very robust and competent systems to service stakeholders of the exploration and mining sector including the government,” he said.

In congratulating his successor, Mr Moaina said he was confident Mr Werror would continue to provide the leadership needed by the board and management.

Mr Werror, who was elected during a recent board meeting, had assured of his commitment to engage with all stakeholders including industry, government and the landowners.

“MRA regulates the mining sector, which is an international business. It therefore has to continue to improve its regulatory services to meet that international expectation but do so within the laws of PNG,” Mr Werror said.

“I am confident MRA has the board and management expertise to effectively regulate the sector and to promote its growth to sustain the economic prosperity of the country.

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MRA gets new chairman

Cedric Patjole | Loop PNG | July 21, 2017

Deputy CEO of Ok Tedi Mine, Musje Werror, has been appointed as the new chairman of the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA).

Werror was elected last week by the MRA board members, replacing Robin Moaina, who served as chairman for 10 years.

In a statement prepared by MRA, Werror thanked the board for their confidence in him and said he will make it a priority to continue stakeholder engagement to improve MRA’s services.

“MRA regulates the mining sector, which is an international business,” he said. “The MRA therefore has to continue to improve its regulatory services to meet that international expectation but do so within the laws of PNG.

“I am confident that MRA has the Board and management expertise to effectively regulate the sector and to promote its growth to sustain the economic prosperity of the country.”

Moaina said he was proud of MRA achievement over the decade and is confident the Authority is now a competent and responsible agency that will continue to support the government in its role.

“As the founding chairman of the MRA board, it has been my greatest pleasure in providing governance and leadership oversight to MRA,” stated Moaina.

“This organisation has grown from strength to strength and developed very robust and competent systems to service stakeholders of the exploration and mining sector, including the government.

“I am very confident that chairman Werror will continue to provide a very strong leadership for the Board going forward and I wish the Board, management and staff of the Authority every success in the years ahead.”

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Mining amendments concern outgoing chairman

Cedric Patjole | Loop PNG | July 21, 2017

Outgoing chairman of the Mineral Resources Authority Board, Robin Moaina, has appealed to the incoming Government not to rush into passing the proposed amendments to the MRA Act and Mining Act.

In a statement announcing the new MRA Board Chairmanship of MRA, Moaina said the proposed amendments to the Mining Act and MRA Act remain a concern for him.

This is because the Government did not consult the MRA Board regarding the amendments.

He has called for the government to re-engage on the fundamentals of these proposed legislation to ensure the growth and investment of the exploration and mining sector in PNG.

In welcoming new chairman Muje Werror, he said the challenge going forward is to reposition MRA to effectively regulate the mining sector through the proposed amendments.

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Govt commits 2% royalty from Tolukuma sales

Byran Chan

Loop PNG | June 9, 2017

The National Government has committed to pay landowners from the Tolukuma Project site a 2 per cent royalty.

This will come from the sale of gold from the gold mine.

This is the first of five major commitments outlined in the revised Tolukuma Gold Mine memorandum of agreement (MOA) signed yesterday in Port Moresby.

The commitments were announced by Mining Minister, Byron Chan, who urged the landowenrs to look after their money.

“Please ensure that royalty funds allocated to the Yulai Future Generation Trust are governed and operated under a Trust Deed and not to repeat the mistakes of existing operating mines where the stakeholders have wasted such funds on dubious investment proposals only to see no returns,” he said.

According to the agreement the state will pay project landowners royalty calculated at 2 per cent of free on board (FOB) of the sale of gold.

Landowners have agreed to split the royalty where Mining Lease Landowners recieve 80 per cent while the balance is split equally between Woitape LLG and Central Province Government.

Mining Lease Landowners have agreed to share 2 per cent of their royalty with the Women and Youth.

Other commitments in the MOA include:

  • The Special Support Grant (SSG) and Tax Credit Scheme (TCS);
  • The establishment of the Infrastructure Development Committee and Office;
  • Funding the annual operation cost of the Provincial Liason Officer to be based at Tolukuma; and
  • The establishment of a new Landowner Company with a clear clan-based shareholding structure and company requirements.

Meanwhile Yulai Landowner Association Chairman, George Gusi, refused to sign the MOA yesterday stating outstanding issues were yet to be discussed and that no proper consultation was done with the MRA.

MRA Managing Director, Phillip Samar, said the refusal of Gusi to sign does not affect the commericial agreement on the Tolukuma Mine.

Samar said they will continue to speak with Gusi to address any of the outstanding issues.

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Tolukuma LO refuses to sign deal

Picture: Signatories to the revised Tolukuma MOA having  a toast while Yulai Landowner Association Chairman, George Gusi, shows disinterest.

LOOP PNG | June 9, 2017

The Tolukuma (Yulai) Landowner Group representing landowners of the Tolukuma Gold Mine refused to sign the revised Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) in Port Moresby today.

Chairman George Gusi snubbed the long overdue revised MOA, claiming there are still outstanding issues to be settled.

Facilitated by the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA), the signing ceremony was attended by Mining Minister Byron Chan, Central Province Governor, Kila Haoda, Executive Director of Asidokona, Vincent Siou, Woitape LLG President Joe Geru, and MRA Managing Director, Phillip Samar.

Speaking at the ceremony, Gusi asked for an extension to iron out outstanding issues which they want to see contained in the current MOA as he claims there was a lack of consultation by the MRA.

He said some of the outstanding issues include:

  • Establishment of the Infrastructure Development Committee;
  • Environmental damage report on the waterway and tailings dam, which is a national issue on the reputation of the mine;
  • No proper mine development plan showing the lifespan and economic value of the mine; and
  • No proper landowner business plan under the spin off benefits and life after mine programs.

Gusi also asked why there was a rush to sign the MOA on the eve of the elections, questioning the legal basis justifying Minister Chan and Governor Haoda to proceed as signatories.

“We are confused as to why we are rushing to sign. I strongly recommend that we defer the MOA signing till after the return of writs. It’s only five weeks away,” he said.

“So after the elections, we have a legitimate Government and authority to execute our MOA.

“Ladies and gentlemen, both national and provincial governments have totally failed to implement many undertakings in the previous MOA.”

Despite his refusal, the signing ceremony went ahead with all parties content with the MOA. Gusi maintained his stance and did not sign.

Following the singing, Minister Chan said the previous MOA did not contain any Government commitment, however, the revised agreement contained guarantees which the government was willing to deliver.

They include, among others, the Tolukuma Highway upgrade project.

Chan said he would not have proceeded with any signing if he knew there were still outstanding issues.

However, he said the revision of the MOA was an ongoing thing and any outstanding issue would be catered for down the track.

“Whatever we sign today, it’s continuous, it’s a Government commitment to the people of Central Province, Goilala District and to your people. It is our commitment,” he said.

“This Government has committed all of these projects to you as of today.”

Meanwhile, Bonnie Gelu, from the State Solicitors office, who was present informed landowners and guests that Minister Chan and Governor Haoda, as signatories to the MOA, are acting within the legal parameters as they are still recognized as elected leaders until the return of writs.

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