Tag Archives: Newcrest Mining

Hidden Valley Landowners Want Minister To Intervene

Frank Rai | Post Courier | February 1, 2018

A local landowner group from the Hidden Valley Gold mine in Morobe province have called on the Minister for Lands and Physical Planning to intervene and stop a dubious land deal between a certain group and public servants over the existing mining lease area.
The Nauti Landowners Grievance Committee of Nauti village in Hidden Valley made the call yesterday after several attempts made to the Department of National Lands and Physical Planning and the Registrar of Incorporated Land Group to cease the issuance of an ILG Certificate have fallen on deaf ears.
According to a National Gazette published on March 30, 2016 – a Nautiya Land Group Incorporated was recognised as an ILG of the same demarcated boundaries of Hidden Valley Gold mine.
Committee chairman Ben Joseph said they lodged a formal complaint with supporting documentations with the Registrar of ILG and the Department of National Lands and Physical Planning to halt the awarding of the ILG in question since March 2017 but to no avail.
“The department is not responding or corresponding with us (Nauti Landowners). Our attempts have fallen on deaf ears so we a now calling on the Minister for Lands and Physical Planning Justin Tkatchenko to use his ministerial power to intervene, put a stop and investigate those responsible for the issue of this dubious ILG certificate,” Mr Joseph said.
He said the Nauti landowners Grievance Committee officially wrote to the Minister in September last year (Sept 28, 2017) for his ministerial intervention to launch an investigation and hold those responsible for exploiting and abusing the process of Customary Land Registration.
The chairman said the matter was of grave concern because of the validity on how Nautiya Land Group was awarded ILG certificate despite some iconic landmark features like the Hidden Valley Gold mine and a 1987 Provincial Land Court Decision that has competently identified customary landowners of the mine.
Mr Joseph said the land was owned by Yatavo Family of Nauti village which is from the Northwest part of the mine and the Biangais of Kwembu and Winima villages of Wau towards Southeast part of the mine.
He said the Nauti, Kwembu and Winima were the current beneficiaries and parties to the Hidden Valley Gold mine under the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) signed in August 5 2005 and the Royalty Distribution Agreement signed in September 15, 2009.
All relevant documentation including correspondence to the Director of Customary Lands Registration, Registrar for Incorporated Land Group, Minister for National Lands and Physical Planning, dating back to March last year were sighted by this reporter.
“There is evident that there was no proper consultation and verification of important detracting features made by the Nautiya Land Group leaders and the designated Government Officers which inevitably is a normal requirement in processing any ILG in the country,” Mr Joseph said.
He added that the oversight of a high government impact project of national interest by government employees and the Nautiya Land Group is completely incomprehensible, unscrupulous and deceptive with intentions to a disrupt major government project.
Mr Joseph appealed to the Minister for Lands to come down hard on those responsible and revoke the issuance of ILG certificate to Nautiya Land Group to avoid further inconveniences.

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Wafi-Gulpu mine to dump toxic tailings in the ocean

Tailings placement site identified

Cedric Patjole | Loop PNG | December 26, 2017

The Huon Gulf deep sea trenches have been identified as a suitable location for deep sea tailings placement [toxic waste dumping] from the Wafi-Golpu Project [mine].

The Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture (WGJV) presented during the PNG Mining and Petroleum Conference that the Huon Gulf deep sea trench was highly suitable.

Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture executive project director, Bryan Bailie, said in the presentation that local rivers, including the Markham, discharged 60 million tons per annum of natural sediment into the Markham Canyon, which reports to the New Britain Trench which is 9000 metres deep.

He said it was a highly disturbed environment, with regular purging of sediments through mass flow events and has low bio accumulated risk.

Huon Gulf is located on the northern coast of PNG, occupied by Morobe Province.

Huon Gulf offers spectacular scenery, accessible diving spots and a range of climates from sub-alpine and alpine to tropical.

Meanwhile, the Joint venture says a stable legislative and fiscal regime is critical to the development of the Wafi-Golpu Mine Project.

The component is among five key areas which the Joint Venture highlighted and include:

  • The completion of the updated feasibility study, and Environmental Impact Statement;
  • Completion of the permitting and approval by the Harmony and Newcrest boards;
  • Sustained landowner and community support; and
  • Ongoing close coordination between WGJV and Government agencies

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Harmony and Newcrest prepare the ground for more marine waste dumping

An example of tailings spilling into rivers in Madang Province – Picture: Act Now!

Pangu hosts deep sea tailings workshop

Sophie Yaruso | PNG Loop | November 24, 2017

Members of Parliament have been challenged to seriously consider the sensitive issues surrounding deep sea tailings disposal and the impact it has on the submarine ecosystem and communities in the area.

Pangu Pati’s Leader Sam Basil and Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu have been commended for organising an interactive dialogue on deep sea tailings disposal: The Basamuk Experience & Implications for Huon Gulf.

Speakers at the session were from Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture led by the company’s head of external affairs, David Wissink, Dr Grant Batterham and David Gwyther, who presented preliminary research findings arguing the safety of submarine disposal of tailings.

In contrast, UPNG marine biologist Professor Ralph Mana was there to present ndings of marine life, including discovery of new species which could be endangered with deep sea disposal of tailings.

Basil, who is also Minister for Communications, Information Technology and Energy, said:

“We need extractive industries to bring in the revenue necessary to drive the infrastructure, utilities and social services for the people at the same time, a need to protect the people and the environment for generations to come.

“Education and knowledge is the focus here. The more MPs like me and my colleagues know, the better our decision can be for our country.

“This workshop is to create dialogue on the balancing act between our marine biodiversity and the need for economic development through extractive industries like mining,” he added.

Pangu has seven MPs from the Morobe Province where the Wa -Golpu Project is located.

Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture’s Wissink commended the Pangu Pati Leader’s initiative, saying it was good to see MPs engage with the people on important issues.

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Mining Minister Tuke meets Einstein’s definition of insanity

Panguna, Porgera, Ok Tedi, Tolukuma all tell the same story – large-scale mining is a disaster for local communities and the environment.

And neither Frieda or Wafi-Golpu have yet come up with a credible plan for managing their toxic tailings – but heck, lets go ahead anyway… 

Govt adamant to get two new mines operating: Tuke

The National aka The Loggers Times | November 22, 2017

THE Government is adamant to get two new mines operating in this term of Parliament, Mining Minister Johnson Tuke, pictured, says.
Tuke, who is also the Kainantu MP said in Lae after returning from a familiarisation visit to the Hidden Valley mine and Wafi-Golpu exploration site in Bulolo, Morobe.
Tuke earlier visited the Porgera gold mine, K92 mine, Frieda River exploration site and the Ramu nickel mine.
He said under the O’Neill-Abel government’s 100-day plan, ministers holding economic portfolios were tasked to ensure their respective departments aligned their operations towards producing revenue for the Government and bail the country out from economic down turn.
“This government is doing the ground work to have at least two mines operating,” Tuke said.
“This government is fully committed.
“In this term of Parliament we will initiate something.
“The developers and landowners are also serious in having the mines off the ground.”
Tuke said the companies doing exploration at the Frieda and Wafi-Golpu sites have already submitted their proposals to dig for minerals. It was for the relevant government agencies to study their proposals and advise the National Executive Council to grant the miners special mining leases.
“Frieda has conducted exploration for the last 40 years or more,” he said.
“Last week, I was at Frieda and talked to the people there. Their response was positive.
“My visit there was to identify issues with the people and the company, so that I can better advice the Government so that it can make well informed decisions.
“That is the case with Wafi too.”

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Newcrest looking at marine waste dumping for Wafi-Golpu

Newcrest focusing on Wafi-Golpu

The National aka The Loggers Times | November 16, 2017

NEWCREST hopes to complete an update of Wafi-Golpu feasibility study by end of the March quarter next year, chairman Pater Hay says.
Hay said during the company’s annual general meeting on Tuesday that the company’s most advanced exploration project was the Wafi-Golpu project which he described as a “world-class copper-gold deposit in Papua New Guinea”.
Wafi-Golpu is an advanced exploration project located in Morobe and is owned by the Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture, one of three unincorporated joint ventures between Newcrest (50 per cent) and Harmony Gold (50 per cent), formed in 2008.
Hay said Newcrest continued to progress work at Wafi-Golpu, with focus on:

  • Assessing external and internal generated power options, in the company’s search for greater reliability and lower operating costs;
  • Comparing deep-sea tailing placements options to terrestrial tailings storage options; and,
  • Re-assessing block cave panels, size and processing capacity due to increased knowledge as a result of ongoing drilling.

“We are targeting completion of an update of the Wafi-Golpu feasibility study by the end of the March 2018 quarter. We will likely submit an amendment to the special mining lease application depending on the outcome of the study update,” he said.
“The timing of the first production is dependent on study outcomes and grating of the special mining lease.
“More broadly, brownfield exploration, brownfield expansions and de-bottlenecking offers some of the lowest-cost, lowest-risk and highest-return growth opportunities in our business.
“As has been stated in our annual report, we are currently pursuing initiatives and projects to add extra process capacity at Cadia and to increase mill throughput at Lihir.”

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Lihir Royalties on hold

Sally Pokiton | PNG Loop | November 15, 2017

temporary hold on royalty payments from Newcrest Mining Limited, has been ordered by the Waigani National Court today.

The people of Namatanai district, claim they have not received their share of royalties in the last 10 years, an amount that equates to K7 billion.

With the restraining order in place, only the Nimamar LLG and Lihir Landowners will receive their royalties this month.

Kavieng and Namatanai districts and the New Ireland Provincial governments will not receive any payments until parties present their case, on how much they should be paid, and get a clarity on the gures in court next month.

Member for Namatanai, Walter Schnaubelt and member for Kavieng Ian Ling Stucky led a case in the National court, against Sir Julius Chan as Governor for New Ireland Province Government, and Lamiller Pawut as Acting Provincial Administrator of New Island Province.

The sitting MPs are seeking clarity on all the past payments, and how much should have been paid between the New Ireland Provincial Government and the two districts as per the Lihir MOA.

They want an account of all those monies and how much should have been paid to them through the Provincial Treasury accounts.

Schnaubelt said the Provincial Government received K168 million under the governorship of Sir Julius Chan, from 2007 till now.

“I’m fighting for my people’s share. As a district, we never received our portion for the last 10 years. Hopefully the National Government can give us what we deserve initially, in accordance to the Lihir MOA, where Namanatani district is supposed to receive 20% of the Lihir royalties,” he said.

The Lihir Landowners and Nimamar LLG gets 50% payment. From the other 50%, Kavieng and Namatanai districts are to receive K20% each while the 10% is retained by the provincial government.

“The Lihir MOA was very clear, outlining the recipients but unfortunately, Namatanai district has not been receiving its share for 10 years, and that equates for K7 billion years, hence why Namatanai district is in the state its in, a total neglect.

“Hopefully all these corrective measures will now be put in place, and the challenge is now on me as member to deliver the services I promised during the election,” Schnaubelt said.

The two members believe the Lihir MOA is unfair, as royalties have been unfairly administered among the two districts, and they want an account to be given on the payments that should to be received on behalf of the two districts.

In the meantime, their royalty payments will be made to the National court trust accounts. Whether the orders will continue, that will be determined on December 4.

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Hidden Valley four month shut down ‘to end soon’

Harmony Gold haemorrhage at Hidden Valley

David McKay | Mining Mx | November 7, 2017

“This has been planned and communicated since we acquired and announced the investment plan in Hidden Valley,” said Lauren Fourie, a spokeswoman for Harmony Gold.

“The four month plant stoppage was due to the ore gap caused by delaying the stage 5 and 6 investment – a decision made when we still held Hidden Valley 50:50 with Newcrest.”

“The ore gap allowed us to do upgrade and maintenance work on the plant and crusher. But this was always planned for,” she said.

“Hidden Valley will start processing again at the end of November. The investment plan is on budget and on schedule.”

Harmony Gold bought Newcrest’s stake in the mine for $1 in 2016 with a view to developing it for $180m.

The acquisition of Newcrest’s 50% stake in Hidden Valley was the first substantive decision of Harmony CEO, Peter Steenkamp since his appointment in November 2015, along with a plan to high grade Kusasalethu and reduce its life of mine from 25 years to six.

Since then, however, it has become clear that Harmony is a company in significant transition.

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