Tag Archives: Newcrest Mining

Fiji: SEEP clears the air

Vuniwaqa Bola-Bari | The Fiji Times

THE Social Empowerment Education Program (SEEP) was never influential in the decision making by Namosi landowners with regards to the Namosi Joint Venture project.

The Waisoi people of Namosi have gone through different companies for the past 43 years and are now with the Namosi Joint Venture.

SEEP acting director Leo Nainoka informed youths at the Natural Resources Management Youth Symposium that they had only worked with the landowners in connecting them with government.

Mr Nainoka said many had always had a misconception of SEEP being involved in decisions made by the landowners.

“People have attributed some of the work in Namosi to SEEP, I’d like to state here that this is a big misconception. The work in Namosi is really to be attributed to the people in Namosi,” Mr Nainoka said.

He said the people of Namosi had been through 43 years of exploration with various companies such as Central Mining Finance, AMEX and ANGLO.

“These are companies that through the 43 years the Namosi people have been through them; they have experienced different companies.”

Mr Nainoka said a lot of people had always linked SEEP with the Namosi project.

“We were invited by TLC (iTaukei Lands Commission) to create a space for dialogue, to discuss and the people themselves made the decision.

“And we tried to link them with relevant stakeholders like the Mineral Resources Department but it’s not that SEEP went in there and influenced their decision.

“Sometimes when development comes in there’s already fragmentation and it can deepen the fragmentation to another level, this is something that we need to watch.”

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Newcrest ready to buy out Harmony’s Golpu stake

But Newcrest not interested in buying Barrick’s troubled Porgera mine

Newcrest is interested in increasing its stake in the Golpu copper and gold development in Papua New Guinea

Newcrest is interested in increasing its stake in the Golpu copper and gold development in Papua New Guinea

The Australian

Newcrest Mining chief Sandeep Biswas says he would be willing to buy out his 50 per cent partner in the $US2.3 billion ($2.9bn) Golpu copper and gold development in Papua New Guinea if the stake came on to the market.

Harmony Gold, the South ­African company that owns half of the deposit, is looking at strategic options to fund the Golpu project that makes up nearly 50 per cent of Harmony’s reserves, including splitting the company. Harmony management has bemoaned the fact that Golpu’s value is not reflected in the share price and says while the deposit is not on the block, it would sell for the right price.

“If that stake came on the market at the right price, and we do have a pre-emptive (right) on this to some extent, we’d look at it, absolutely,” Mr Biswas told investors at a Bank of America Merrill Lynch mining conference in Barcelona this month, but he said it was not something Newcrest was counting on.

Credit Suisse analyst Michael Slifirski valued the Golpu project at $2.95bn. Taking into account Papua New Guinea’s right to take a 30 per cent stake in the project, which it indicated it would do, and leaving Newcrest and Harmony with 35 per cent each, Harmony’s stake is worth $1.03bn.

Last week, Harmony’s total market value was just 7.95 billion rand ($850m).

Speaking a week before Mr Biswas spoke in Barcelona, Harmony chief Graham Briggs said he would look at all options for the looming finance commitment for Golpu, including splitting the company. He did not rule out a sale.

“I’m not sure anybody is buying these assets right now,” Mr Briggs said when asked if he would sell the Golpu stake.

“It’s not on the block, but if somebody were really cheeky and wanted to pay lots of money for it, that’s something that would have to go the board, and, because it takes up 50 per cent of reserves, probably not only board but shareholder approval,” he said.

In December, Newcrest revealed a slimmed-down $US2.3bn development of Golpu that envisaged development being split into two stages. The first stage would target the higher-grade upper core of ore body, ranked as one of the world’s biggest with a resource of 9 million tonnes of copper and 20 million ounces of gold. First production would be possible in 2020, with production to peak in 2025 at 150,000 tonnes of copper and 320,000 ounces of gold.

“Golpu is Newcrest’s most exciting growth development option, given the size and grade of the ore body,” Mr Biswas said in Barcelona.

In its May 8 quarterly report, Harmony said it would evaluate strategic options to realise shareholder value and fund Golpu.

“One has to look at the classes of assets and say ‘does this make sense from a shareholders perspective?’,” Mr Briggs was quoted by Bloomberg as saying after the report was released. “Are there shareholders in Harmony that would only invest in Golpu, or only invest in South Africa?”

In Barcelona, Mr Biswas said Newcrest was not interested in buying the Porgera mine in PNG that Barrick Gold had put on the market and for which Credit Suisse is conducting the sales process.

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PNG Deputy Opposition Leader Sam Basil wants fair share of Mining Benefits

After eight years of failing to support his people against the mining company and its environmental and social damage why is Sam Basil crying now?

Papua New Guinea Today

BasilDeputy Opposition Leader and Bulolo M-P, Sam Basil is upset over findings of a National Research Institute Report, into mining activities in his Wau-Bulolo area of Morobe, urging for an immediate review into the 2005 Memorandum Of Agreement.

It states that the impact of benefits flow both financial and developments, were inadequately translated into social and economic growth in the mine-affect community.The Report highlighted discrepancies in the M-O-A, with landowners of the Hidden Valley Gold mine missing out on benefits, since its commencement.

Mr. Basil was speaking during the Report’s launch in Port Moresby, last Thursday.

“So when I came in to representing my people of Bulolo from 2007, the mine was already in existence.The MOA is being signed and they’ve created a monster which is the NAKUWI company, landowner company .That is not in transparent and the landowners that are suppose to be having the cycle of representation, the leadership of those companies or investments are left out.I would like to ask the government, the mining secretary, the MRA managing director who is here with us today.We should take into consideration those, because today, I will be back in Lae by 2 o’clock and we will be going straight into the MOA of the Hidden Valley and once again, I’d like the government, Philip Samar (MRA Managing Director), I want, us, to take into consideration the districts, the host districts”.

Meantime, Deputy Opposition Leader and Bulolo M-P, Sam Basil, is urging the National Government to revisit its mining laws, to include landowners interests and benefit processes.

Basil said, in most P-N-G mining communities, the developers, National and Provincial Governments gain from royalty benefits more than the landowners, who continue to struggle.

Mr Basil said, it’s time now for Government to put in mechanisms that encourage equal participation of landowners and developers.

“The challenge is, how can we get landowner companies at least to benefit in terms of participating.Many a times when landowner companies pull together, we always get this answers that the landowners do not have the capacity.No!!, displa em giaman toktok yah.We cannot say that any longer.The people that trying to develop the mines, they have their agendas in terms of how quick they can make bucks out of the mine.Most of the companies operating out of the Hidden Valley, HBS growing into a multi billion kina company, keep building itself out of Hidden Valley.So, why na bai yumi stap na lukim ol white man kam na usim resource blo yumi na mining blo yumi kamapim bikpla business.We cannot allow that.Displa moni HBS kisim na kamap bikpla company, it should by my landowner, they own resource or why can’t the government wake up now, why can’t we get the landowners to own???”.

Mr. Basil was speaking at the launch of the National Research Institute Report, on mining activities in the Wau-Bulolo area of Morobe, in Port Moresby.

The report based on the assessment of the Benefit Sharing Arrangements of large-scale mining activities, particularly in the Hidden Valley gold mine project.

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Watut River – Newcrest Mining Sustainability Report 2014

Hidden Valley mine

Hidden Valley mine is causing ongoing environmental problems

Mineral Policy Institute

Newcrest Mining released their 2014 Sustainability Report earlier in April. As a large Australian gold mining company, Newcrest operate a number of mining and exploration sites in Australia, Africa, Asia and the Pacific. These include both the Hidden Valley mine and Wafi-Golpu exploration/development site in the Morobe Province of Papua New Guinea, which are operated with Harmony Gold.

The Mineral Policy Institute (MPI) is a little skeptical of the value of sustainability reports, as they are often a defense of the status quo rather than a tool for improvement. A typical report makes the company sound responsible, but omits any real challenges and uncomfortable truths. Hoping for change, from the company that wants to be seen as the ‘miner of choice’ MPI had a look.

Important background is that in October 2014 at Newcrest’s AGM, MPI formally presented copies of the Hidden Valley documentary and the accompanying report Mining in Morobe, Papua New Guinea: Impacts from mining along the Watut River to Newcrest Board Chair Peter Hay and CEO Sandeep Biswas. Hidden Valley contained strong feedback from communities about the need to change the approach to mining development, giving communities the right to ‘choose their own future’. The Mining in Morobe Report supported this with an assessment and analysis of Newcrest and Harmony Gold’s reporting. Multiple breaches were found in convention of the ICMM Principles, the OCED Guidelines and the Equator Principles with further problems relating to company policies, sustainability reporting and assurance.

We are pleased to acknowledge once again that Newcrest became a member of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights during 2014. Both provide opportunities for Newcrest to improve their performance and set a good example for other companies.

We note that Newcrest gave their own work a tick of approval in relation to stakeholder engagement and the International Council of Metals and Mining (ICMM) and Global Reporting Index (GRI) Principles. Unfortunately they never mentioned the Watut River, let alone the ongoing impacts on community and environment caused by sedimentation from the Hidden Valley mine.

It is useful to compare that self-assessment with the number of (unacknowledged in the report) sustainability issues at Hidden Valley and Wafi-Golpu. Table 1, from the Mining in Morobe Report assesses Newcrest and Harmony’s (and the Morobe Mining Joint Venture, MMJV) activities against a number of OECD Guidelines finding numerous breaches. MPI is yet to receive a response to these specific findings or a general response to Hidden Valley and Mining in Morobe Report.

Interestingly, despite being employed by Newcrest and guided by their criteria, the assurer, Ernst and Young made a number of interesting statements (p.52) alongside their limited assurance statement. In brief these included: (1) the benefits from strengthening engagement with NGO’s at a corporate level; (2) additional direct engagement with external stakeholders regarding reporting criteria; (3) additional case studies of interest to specific interest groups to demonstrate Newcrest’s response to challenges (ie Watut River); (4) improving the timeliness of the report as a means of identifying onsite issues and responding to stakeholder interests.

Despite having fundamental concerns about sustainability reporting and largely obscure assurance assessments, MPI supports these observations by Ernst and Young. While not addressing the fundamental power inequality between community and company, or the reducing the impacts on people and place, the recommendations could, if adopted by Newcrest, at least result in some improvements in reporting and acknowledgement of stakeholders concerns.

Table 1. Assessment of MMJV:Newcrest Activities against OCED Guidelines 


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Benefits from large-scale mining not shared with landowners

“it is clear to us that the landowning communities are not benefiting” – National Research Institute

The Hidden Valley mine has caused environmental problems and failed to make a profit

Hidden Valley is one of the mines studied by NRI and found not to be delivering benefits to landowners

Concerns over benefit sharing

Eric Balaria | The National aka The Loggers Times

PAPUA New Guinea has problems with how it delivers benefits to landowning communities in mine impacted areas, outgoing National Research Institute director Dr Thomas Webster says.

He said it was clear that PNG had serious problems with the structure of arrangements and it was time for the government to re-examine and come up with better policies.

Webster said this during the launching of NRI’s latest report on the review and assessment of benefit sharing arrangements for large-scale mining activities in Wau-Bulolo.

“NRI is now focusing on the analysis of benefits to the landowning communities and the examination of the mechanisms of which these benefits are being spring and how these are being are being used for the welfare and benefit of these communities,” he said.

“In both these studies, Porgera Gold mine in 2012 and the Hidden Valley mine in 2014, it is clear to us that the landowning communities are not benefiting and will be worse off when the mine closes down if we do not do anything now.

“Audited payments made by mining company Barrick to the government and various stakeholders has been tracked as we have used evidence from their accounting systems.

“The question about where these payments go, how they are spent, once they remain and once they leave the mine remain unresolved, as we could not establish that through our study.

“To the communities who are supposedly the absolute beneficiaries of PNG’s mining and mineral wealth the legal and payments systems is fake and one sided.

“There remains a critical lack of transparency at both the national and self- government levels,” he said.

Webster said PNG had the expertise and resources both domestic and international to design and develop strong policies to ensure that all revenues from mining activities were adequately accounted for.


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Lihir landowners not happy with Newcrest

Newcrest Mining keen to boost ties with landowners 

The National aka The Loggers Times

NEWCREST Mining Limited is committed to working with landowners in Lihir to ensure long term sustainability of its operations and the continuation of benefits, country manager Peter Aitsi says.
He said this following concerns raised by Lihir Mining Area Landowners Association (LMALA) chairman James Laketan that the Australian miner had intentionally left landowners out in core activities at Lihir, which included a shipping contract that was tendered to outside companies.
Laketan had said the loss of business was an example of the developer’s lack of consideration of its commitments to landowners.
He added that there were other examples of the developer’s failure to acknowledge past agreements, which were now putting Lihir business at risk.
Aitsi said however Newcrest through its subsidiary Lihir Gold Limited (LGL) had been regularly meeting with its suppliers including landowner companies to work proactively to improve the capacity of these organisations and improve on the efficiency of their services to its operations.
“LGL has not terminated any contracts; at this stage Lihir is undertaking a comprehensive review of all of its contracts,” he said.
“We are working collaboratively with our suppliers – local, national and international – to improve their costs and competitiveness.
“As a result of the global down-turn in the resource sector, LGL like other mining companies in PNG and around the world are looking to drive greater efficiencies through their operations.
“This is a difficult time for the resource sector, however LGL is firmly committed to working with landowners, our host community and the Government to ensure the long term sustainability of our operations and the continuation of benefits over the longer term,”
Aitsi said that agreements reviewed under integrated benefits package 2 concerning existing landowner benefits package in relation to the mine continued to be recognised by the miner and still remained in place.


Filed under Financial returns, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

Fiji government tries to quieten landowner opposition to Newcrest exploration

Ministry, landowners meet over exploration issues

Vuniwaqa Bola-Bari | Fiji Times

THE Lands and Mineral Resources Ministry deputy permanent secretary Malakai Nalawa today met with members of the Nawaisomo clan to iron out issues regarding the exploration work by the Namosi Joint Venture.

The landowners were today informed that all that has been done at this stage was exploration of the land for minerals but no mining has been done, thus lease money will only be given once the lease of their land is allowed when the company feels that they should mine the land for its minerals.

But if minerals are not found, landowners will get compensation for  the exploration work with accordance to damage done during the time of exploration by the company.

The meeting was held at the Namosi Provincial Office in Navua.

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