Tag Archives: Newcrest Mining

Tikina Namosi Landowners respond to NJV mining claims

A drill pad site. Photo: Namosi Joint Venture

Namosi Joint Venture exploration drill site

Tikina Namosi Landowners respond to the Chairman of the Fijian Parliamentary Select Committee on Natural Resource in relation to Namosi Joint Venture Director Mr Greg Morris’ claims on his presentation to the Standing Committee…

“Warm Greetings Mr Cawaki,

“At the outset, I wish to congratulate you on the tremendous work you are doing in assisting the Fijian People in these times.

“Vinaka saka vakalevu.

“I read with dismay the presentation given by Mr. Greg Morris yesterday as part of their presentation to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Natural Resources

“I write as Chairman of the Tikina Namosi Landowners Committee TNLC, wishing to highlight some of the issues needed also to be raised by Namosi Joint Venture NJV on but failed to do so. These are most important to us Fijian as we live in a very small island state called Fiji and wishing to commence with a massive open cut copper and Gold Mine very similar to OK Tedi in PNG. NJV has been smiling when it is explaining the economic benefit to the Country and not the Shareholders who will get more and the employing of 2000 people as part of its workforce, although I wish to highlight some of the issues from the Landowners perspectives and these are:

  1. Has NJV highlighted the environmental damages it has caused to our land the last 10 years of exploration in Namosi?
  2. Has NJV mentioned the vast area covered which if you look at the mine plan, anyone would be quick to establish that to have the first pit with a size of 180 rugby field and with 2 pits you will know that there will be migration of people;
  3. Has NJV mentioned of a third pit which is not mentioned in the Mine plan although we understand its where its gold deposit are concentrated,
  4. Has NJV mentioned that to show the third Pit, Government will automatically disallow the Mine License,
  5. Has NJV mentioned of a cost benefit analysis after mining has finished.
  6. Who pays for these costs?
  7. Is it sustainable to have a massive copper/gold mine in the smallest province in Fiji;
  8. In terms of migration, where will our people settled,,,,,,, Serua?
  9. What happen to the Heritage Act, the Museum Act, the Archeological and Paleontologist Act.- How can they identify with us?
  10. What’s the use of the Baseline Studies and where is the report now?
  11. What happens to provinces such as Serua, Naitasiri, Rewa and Tailevu if spillages does occur?
  12. Who will pay for the social implication after mining?
  13. What is the use of taking the lead in Climate Change stance as part of the COP 21, 22 and our taking Chairmanship in COP 23?
  14. When our ecosystem is damaged, who will feed us when all living organism are dead through chemical use,
  15. Has NJV mentioned that the Suva/Nausori populations are drinking from the Waimanu River that flows from Wainivalelevu from Namosi?
  16. How does the LOU benefit from this mine?
  17. How sustainable is the waste storage DAM or Tailing Dam. Who pays for the spillage downstream if an Earthquake or any disastrous weather phenomenon does occur?

“Sir the list goes on and on. The money is good for the Country on a short term benefit but the damage caused cannot be put the pristine environment back again. It will whisper to your ear and say…..moce qi sa la.

“As members of the Fiji First Party and government, we understand that we are following government road map to sustainable development and to have a project that is unsustainable will be against your road map.

“We need fresh air, fresh water, fresh crops and vegetation for our survival, so to mine Namosi is taking away what the almighty has given us to enjoy.

“I hope the TNLC’s humble plea will be taken on board and that serious and honest consideration in that Namosi should not be mined as it will cause more to the people and government after mining has taken place.

“What we do in our lives will determined our destiny to the next life whether it be good or bad, we will answer to the almighty or how justifiable we are.

“Vinaka saka vakalevu.

Josefa Rauto Waqavatu Tauleka

Chairman TNLC

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Harmony pins its hopes on Hidden Valley

Harmony Gold CEO Peter Steenkamp. File picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi

Harmony Gold CEO Peter Steenkamp. File picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi

PNG gold to make South African company rich while Morobe people continue to suffer…

Kabelo Khumalo | Business Report | 3 February 2017

Harmony Gold is pinning its growth hopes on its newly acquired Hidden Valley mine and is prowling the market for big acquisitions as most of its South African operations were nearing the end of their production lifespans.

It would focus on Hidden Valley, as its other mines in Masimong, Kusasalethu, Unisel and Bambanani were left with less than five years of mining.

Chief executive Peter Steenkamp said on Thursday, besides actively pursuing assets, the company had a solid plan for Hidden Valley. He said Harmony planned to produce 180 000 ounces of gold a year for seven years at the mine to achieve a total production of 1.5 million ounces a year across the group in two years time.

Last year, the company bought 100 percent of Hidden Valley, a gold and copper project in Papua New Guinea, after buying out its partner, Newcrest Mining, Australia’s biggest gold producer for $180 million (R2.42 billion). The company previously had a 50 percent stake in the Papua New Guinea mine.

Steenkamp said the company would focus on strong operational performance and create further value.

“Our operations – both in South Africa and Papua New Guinea – are maintaining their momentum and we believe our annual guidance of approximately 1 050 000 ounces of gold at a price of about $1100/oz is achievable.”

Steenkamp added that Harmony revenue, including the gold hedge for the six months ended December, increased by 3 percent to R9.8 billion.

He said the group’s total production profit decreased to R2.4bn in the period from R3bn from the comparative one. The company said it realised R233 million in profits from the gold hedge while group headline earnings increased to 150cents, up from the 100c from the comparable period.

 Steenkamp said the company reduced its net debt from R1.1 billion to R289 million at the end of December. He said the company would take a measured approach as it scours the market for acquisitions and would refrain from overpaying for its targeted assets. Harmony declared an interim dividend of 50c, its first since the six months to the end of 2012.

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Lihir could yet be million ounce gold mine: Biswas

Newcrest Mining chief executive Sandeep Biswas says the leNewcrest chief Sandeep Biswas has stressed he is more interested in value rather than volume.

Newcrest chief Sandeep Biswas has stressed he is more interested in value rather than volume.

A million ounces of gold a year sounds great for Newcrest shareholders – but what about the poor people of New Ireland, left behind as the quasi-colonial mining companies ship their gold? 

Peter Ker | Australian Financial Review

The man leading the turn-around of Australia’s biggest gold miner, Sandeep Biswas, has not given up hope that the Lihir gold mine may yet fulfil its potential to produce a million ounces of gold in a year.

The Newcrest chief executive has in recent years improved output from the PNG mine, which Newcrest acquired for $10.5 billion of scrip in 2010.

Located in the caldera of an extinct volcano, Lihir boasts one of the world’s largest gold deposits and was supposed to be producing more than a million ounces per year by 2012.

But Lihir has never lived up to those expectations, with annual production never getting close and reliability issues prompting $5.6 billion of asset impairments over the past five years.

But improvements have been seen in the 30 months since Mr Biswas took the reins at Newcrest; mill throughput has risen at Lihir by close to 30 per cent, plant availability has risen from just over 70 per cent to more than 80 per cent while all-in sustaining costs of production have fallen from $1201 per ounce in the December half of 2013 to $830 per ounce in fiscal 2016.

Lihir produced a record 900,034 ounces of gold in fiscal 2016, and official guidance for fiscal 2017 has been set at between 880,000 ounces and 980,000 ounces.

Mr Biswas rarely speaks about gold production targets, preferring instead to guide investors towards more controllable goals such as the volumes of ore put through the processing circuit at Lihir.

But he told The Australian Financial Review that producing 1 million ounces of gold from Lihir in a year could yet be achieved.

“If you took the plant up to 15 million tonnes to 17 million tonnes grinding rate, as long as your [gold] grade was in the high 2 per cent [range] then yes, it’s possible to get over a million ounces,” he said in a recent interview.

For comparison, Newcrest was due to be grinding at about 13 million tonnes per year by the end of 2016, 14 million tonnes by December 2017 and 15 million tonnes per year within five years.

But while 1 million ounces per year would be a major milestone for Lihir, it does not appear to be a driving ambition for Mr Biswas.

The Indian-born executive stressed he was more interested in value rather than volume, and under his stewardship Newcrest is taking a lower-cost development approach to Lihir that has seen its gold production volumes rise more slowly than originally anticipated.

Plans to be producing 1 million ounces at Lihir by 2012 implied an early development of a high-grade gold deposit called Kapit, but Mr Biswas has delayed the development of Kapit and studied ways to do it more economically.

“With the work we have done on developing the Kapit ore body, we have saved $1 billion on capex minimum which they would have had to spend under that plan,” he said.

“We have pushed that back, by the time we get to Kapit it will be 2025.

“Yes it [Kapit] has better [gold] grades, but you don’t want to spend a billion and half dollars going to get it, we would rather spend $200 or $300 million, which is the current plan.” 

“When you look at how much gold you produce you also have to look at how much capex and what your operating costs are. I think we’ve got a much more sustainable model.”

Newcrest is expected to publish its December-quarter production results on  January 30, before revealing half-year financial results on February 13.

Mr Biswas is scheduled to give an address to the Melbourne Mining Club on February 9.

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Hidden Valley LO association urge Govt to sign revised Mining Act

Peter O'Neill announced his government's climb down in Sydney

Peter O’Neill announced his government’s climb down over the Mining Act in Sydney

Post Courier | December 15, 2016

THE government has been called upon to review their decisions and sign the revised mining act for implementation.

Hidden Valley’s Nakuwi Landowners Association president Rex Mauri said this yesterday following the announcement by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill during the mining conference in Sydney, Australia, recently to defer the revised mining act.

“We the landowners from Hidden Valley are appealing for Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and Mining Minister Byron Chan to review the decision,” he said.

He said Mr O’Neill had announced during the mining conference that the revised mining act will be deferred until after the 2017 General Election.

“This is a slap in the face for landowners, contributing individuals and entities efforts’ in compiling the act.

“This revised mining act is vital because once it is signed, then the benefits rollout will surely reach the affected host project communities and all stakeholders in the country.

“However, it is very frustrating and the deferral indicates that the PM is serving the interest of the developer and not the landowners of PNG.

“I have been actively involved in the operation of Hidden Valley mine for almost 34 years, yet I don’t experience any tangible developments occurring in affected communities of Morobe Mining Joint Venture, and the living standards of the people are still low,” Mr Mauri said.

He claimed that the gross payment of the mine is divided as two per cent belonging to the landowners which is shared among the national government, provincial government, local level government and landowners, while the developer is enjoying 98 per cent. Mr Mauri said that these are some issues that are highlighted and amended in the new revised mining act so the political leaders in mining provinces must support the call and raise their voice about the decision and ensure the mining act is signed and ready for implementation.

“We cannot drag this on as operations are continuing every day and changes are happening to our environment. Let us all voice our concern to ensure we benefit fully.”

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How the international financial vultures view Papua New Guinea

vultures

Lenders flag policy, infrastructure challenges to PNG mines

  • Need for ports, power, roads raises costs
  • Chinese banks boost miners’ access to money
  • Miners fear security risks, lenders undaunted

Sonali Paul | Reuters | 8 December 2016

Planned changes to Papua New Guinea’s mining laws are creating uncertainty ahead of an upcoming election, despite strong interest in proposed multibillion dollar mining and energy projects in the Pacific nation, lenders and advisers say.

The quality of the copper, gold and gas resources in the country mean there is appetite to lend to projects including Total SA’s Papua liquefied natural gas project, Guangdong Rising Assets Management’s (GRAM) Frieda River and Newcrest Mining and Harmony Gold’s Wafi Golpu copper and gold mines.

However Australia and New Zealand Banking Group and Credit Suisse bankers said uncertainty over elections in mid-2017 and proposed government mining and energy policies may affect the size and pricing of loans.

Planned changes include shortening mine leases to 25 years from 40 years, giving the state the right to acquire a project for half its sunk cost after the first phase, an increase in royalties to 3 percent and a doubling of the production levy to 0.5 percent.

PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill told a conference in Sydney he would not go ahead with any changes to the mining law ahead of national elections in June 2017, and would await a new mandate in parliament.

But the uncertainty is putting pressure on the nation’s sovereign rating, which would affect lending terms.

“When we assess the risk and when we assign risk ratings to projects, to the extent that the sovereign rating is under pressure or downgraded, ultimately that translates to a higher cost of funds to the borrower,” said ANZ’s head of mining and resources infrastructure project and export finance Wai Mun Lum.

The PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum has warned that the proposed mining law changes could make the Frieda River and Wafi Golpu projects unviable.

INFRASTRUCTURE CHALLENGES

The main attraction of Papua New Guinea is the sheer size of the deposits, which are tucked away in remote, mountainous regions with limited infrastructure.

“I talk to investment banks, and they’re all keen to remain on top of what’s happening in PNG. They see the opportunities, and they’ll all be there,” said Anthony Latimer, a partner at law firm Norton Rose Fulbright on the conference sidelines.

But in a country where the only airport with runway lights is in the capital, Port Moresby, lack of infrastructure poses a big challenge. For a company like ExxonMobil building the $19 billion PNG LNG project, a mammoth four-year task which it likened to constructing on the moon, that was doable.

ANZ’s Lum said for smaller companies like GRAM’s PanAust looking to build the Frieda River mine, it would be a bigger challenge to fund port and power facilities and an air strip.

However where western bankers fear to tread, China’s big banks are pouring in, bankers and advisers said.

“The recent joint venture between Zijin and Barrick for Porgera (gold mine) is going to be very good for PNG,” said Graham Smith, associate director of mining M&A at KPMG.

“We’re seeing the Chinese banks have a very different risk appetite than some of the western banks for jurisdictions such as PNG, as well as lower debt costs generally.”

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

harmony

newcrest

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

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Hidden Valley landholders furious at MRA delays

Newcrest has sold its stake in the Hidden Valley mine to Harmony

Sampson Bonai | Post Courier | November 18,2016

THE revised Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) of the Hidden Valley gold mine in Wau is gathering dust at the Mineral Resource Authority head office in Port Moresby pending its endorsement two years ago.

A furious Nakuwi Landowners Association president Rex Mauri questioned the motive behind MRA’s delay in its endorsement of the revised agreement during a media conference in Lae yesterday:

“Why has MRA delayed the endorsement of the revised and initial agreement of Hidden Valley gold mine for its implementation two years ago?

“The revised agreement had been negotiated by all stakeholders including Morobe Mining Joint Ventures, Mineral Resources Authority, Treasury, Morobe Provincial Government and the Hidden Valley landowners in 2013-2014”.

It had been initialed and is awaiting endorsement from the government for its implementation, since four years ago.

“I’m very disappointed over the long delay and call on the relevant state agencies to fast track the approval process and endorse the revised agreement for the benefit of all stakeholders,” he said.

The outspoken president said the delay had greatly affected the three landowner villages of Nauti, Kwembu and Winima from participating in all the major spin off business activities from the mine.

He said the original Memorandum of Agreement was signed in August 5, 2005 by the developer and all the stakeholders in Wau before the commencement of the construction work on the mine in 2006. The mine began mining operations and poured its first gold bar in the first quarter of 2009. The mine was commissioned by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill on September 30, 2010. The review of the original MoA had been done after four years of operations between 2013-2014 and a revised agreement had been initialed.

He explained that the landowners have become spectators on their own land and outsiders have capitalised on the delay by taking out most of the major contracts from the mine. He called on Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to intervene and direct MRA to forward the revised agreement to the Government to have it signed and endorsed.

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