Tag Archives: Newcrest Mining

Fiji government silent on Namosi mining dispute

‘No Comment’

Ana Sovaraki | Fiji Sun

The Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources will not comment further on the dispute between Namosi landowners and the Namosi Joint Venture (NJV).

Last month, head of the Mataqali Nabukebuke, Daniele Vakatawabai of Namosi Village claimed there was a split among the landowners.

He said this led to a roadblock carried out by those causing the split in the area which was being explored for minerals by the NJV.

Lands Minister Mereseini Vuniwaqa said they were not commenting because they we’re dealing with sensitive mataqali issues.

“We have asked the mataqali to try and resolve the issues internally so that we can move forward with this development. I believe at the moment they are addressing the issue and they will come back to us if a decision has been made,” Ms Vuniwaqa said.

Meanwhile, she said following the ministry’s lands consultation, landowners were now well informed.

“Misinformation was there; it was very evident prior to elections and in the first few weeks after elections,” Ms Vuniwaqa said.

She said the public consultations that were carried out were in relation to the formalisation of informal settlements.

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Golpu good for foreign investors but how will it benefit PNG’s rural majority?

While a small local elite and foreign mining companies have made their fortunes out of PNG’s mineral resources, rural people in PNG have suffered the environmental and social damage while seeing local services actually deteriorate. Why will the outcomes be any different with planned new mines like Golpu… 

PNG mines are good for fat cats like Harmony CEO Graham Briggs but not for local people

PNG mines are good for fat cats like Harmony CEO Graham Briggs but not for local people

Harmony leans on Golpu to diversify, limit risk

Natasha Odendaal | Mining Weekly

Harmony Gold’s new “game changing” copper and gold play in Papua New Guinea would enable a more risk-diverse portfolio, with the company now “getting into position” to develop its 50% joint venture project with Australian gold miner Newcrest Mining.

The $2.3-billion Golpu project showed a “spectacular” orebody with a large copper component that was “affordable and mineable” and its development would be a “big focus” this year, Harmony CEO Graham Briggs said during a conference call on Monday.

The gold miner had applied for an environmental permit from Papua New Guinea’s Department of Environment and Conservation to start advanced exploration and feasibility support activities, including the development of access roads, decline development to the orebody and associated works.

Following the completion of the prefeasibility study covering Stage 1 development, which targeted the upper higher value portion of the orebody, the company had now completed the Stage 2 concept study, which demonstrated a technically feasible and economically viable plan to mine and process the remaining portion of the Golpu copper-gold reserve after depletion of Stage 1.

Stage 1 targeted first production in 2020 and was expected to have a life of about 27 years.

Harmony, which aimed to fund the earlier stages of the project from internal cash flows, was also reviewing other funding options for the latter stages.

During Stage 1, 146-million tonnes would be extracted at an average grade of 1.02 g/t of gold and 1.6% copper.

The proposed start-up production rate is three-million tonnes a year, mined from Block Cave (BC) 1, and six-million tonnes a year, mined from the deeper BC 2.

Stage 2 would focus on BC 3.

The attributable yearly production for Harmony was a “significant” average of 500 000 gold-equivalent ounces a year from 2024 to 2029.

During the second quarter of the 2015 financial year, Harmony’s headline loss a share widened to 114c, from the 61c in the preceding quarter. The group’s basic loss a share plunged more than 100% from 61c in the first quarter of the year, to 197c apiece in the quarter ended December 31.

Harmony’s net loss for the quarter under review increased to R856-million, compared with the net loss of R266-million posted in the September 2014 quarter.

Harmony reported a 16% decline in revenue to R3.7-billion owing to a 14% decrease in gold sold to 275 851 oz and a 2% decrease in the rand gold price received to R432 963/kg.

The group also reported a 10% decrease in gold production to 271 963 oz, which, in addition to a lower gold price, also led to a decrease in production profit to R618-million in the December quarter, compared with R913-million in the previous quarter.

“Gold production during the March 2015 quarter is expected to be higher once Kusasalethu [mine’s] restructuring is finalised and Hidden Valley returns to full production, positioning our operations to benefit from higher gold prices,” Briggs said.

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Newcrest Mining Rides a Gold Roller-Coaster


One kilogram gold bars sit in a wooden storage box. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG NEWS

Lihir Mine Continues to be a Headache

Rhiannon Hoyle | The Wall Street Journal

Few companies have experienced the ups and downs of the commodities cycle like Newcrest Mining Ltd., Australia’s biggest gold producer, whose shares have soared as high as 36 Australian dollars (US$28) and crashed to as low as A$7 over the past three years.

One of the worst periods was 2013, when Australia’s securities watchdog began investigating the company’s disclosure practices; its chairman and chief executive both said they were quitting; and it was forced into a humiliating US$6 billion write-down of assets it purchased during gold’s decadelong bull run.

More recently, Newcrest has begun to recover some of its shine. Its shares are trading at an 18-month high, buoyed by the weekslong run-up in gold prices amid concern over the health of the global economy. And on Friday, Newcrest surprised investors by setting a higher annual production target.

The company said it expected to produce between 2.3 million and 2.5 million troy ounces of gold in the year through June, compared with an earlier 2.2 million-2.4 million forecast. Management also reported a 2.7% increase in gold output in the final three months of last year, and lifted its estimate for copper output in the current fiscal year by up to 20%.

The brighter news, announced in a second-quarter update, follows a spate of production downgrades in recent years, and routine disappointment for shareholders when hoped-for guidance upgrades failed to materialize.

A one-time darling of Australia’s share market, Newcrest has faced setbacks of almost every sort: from engineering faults at its mines and rain disrupting operations to unexpected tax bills. The producer, which was forced into write-downs as recently as August, has been working hard to rebuild its image by focusing on improving the reliability of its global operations.

Still, Friday’s upgrades failed to put much of a spark under Newcrest’s stock, which has already risen by more than 25% this year. Investors remain concerned, mainly, about the outlook for its Lihir mine in Papua New Guinea, which Newcrest acquired as part of its A$9.5 billion takeover of Australian-listed rival Lihir Gold Ltd. back in 2010.

The mine, which Newcrest had high hopes for, has faced repeated setbacks, including several unplanned disruptions caused by problems with processing machinery and conveyor belts at its facilities.

“Lihir continues to underperform against its potential,” Newcrest’s chief executive, Sandeep Biswas, said on Friday, but added that he was confident the right strategy and people were now in place to boost production at the operation. Gold output at the facility was below the company’s expectations and costs rose, the company said in the quarterly update.

The performance of Newcrest’s other operations was patchy. It recorded strong second-quarter output at its Cadia and Telfer mines in Australia, but weaker-than-anticipated production at its Gosowong mine in Indonesia and Hidden Valley operation in Papua New Guinea.

A pullback in the gold price in recent days is also causing investors to tread carefully, according to local fund managers. Gold futures posted their sharpest decline—2.4%–in more than a year on Thursday as a more-hawkish Federal Reserve signaled the U.S. economy was strengthening, dampening demand for bullion which is often treated as a haven in turbulent times.

“Even if management resolve the issues at Lihir, it’s certainly going to be a difficult proposition to show increasing profits when gold faces such a big macro headwind,” said Angus Gluskie, managing director of White Funds Management in Sydney, pointing to the scope for the greenback to strengthen when U.S. interest rates eventually climb, reducing the allure of gold to investors.

_ _ _ _ _

Newcrest lifts gold production target

AUSTRALIA’S biggest gold miner Newcrest has lifted its full year production target while lowering its costs.

CHIEF executive Sandeep Biswas said he was happy with Newcrest’s Australian mines, but disappointed with the performance of its major Lihir operations in Papua New Guinea, which achieved a lower than expected production increase.

Milling operations at another PNG mine were also stopped for 17 days following the death of a worker in early December.

Stronger than expected overall production in the three months to December was achieved as capacity upgrades at Newcrest’s largest Australian operation, in NSW’s central west, progressed ahead of schedule.

Newcrest now expects to produce between 2.3 million and 2.5 million ounces of gold in the 2014/15 year, up 100,000 ounces on its previous guidance.

Copper production guidance has also been lifted to a range of 90,000 to 100,000 tonnes, up from the previous guidance of 75,000 to 85,000 tonnes.

Newcrest also lowered its full year all-in sustaining cost guidance, to a range of $2.3 billion and $2.5 billion, due to stronger copper production and improved efficiencies.

But the company’s shares have fallen, as the gold price endured its sharpest drop in more than a year.

The price fell due to a stronger US dollar, and a move by traders into other investments in anticipation of an interest rate rise in the US.

Newcrest shares dropped 14 cents to $13.56.

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Fiji: Namosi Roadblock Explained

Maika Bolatiki | Fiji Sun 

Landowners in Namosi Village are split, claims the head of the mataqali Nabukebuke in the village Daniele Vakatawabai.

This had led to a roadblock in the area being explored for mining  by the Namosi Joint Venture.

Mr Vakatawabai told the Fiji Sun at Namosi Village yesterday that the roadblock has now been lifted and the Namosi Joint Venture could use the road.

“Those who carried out the roadblock are causing the split,” he said.

He added the Namosi Joint Venture wanted to caryy out drilling at Wainaba, but other companies had already carried out drilling at that place.

“Na qivaqiva sa vakayacori oti e Wainaba mai na yabaki 70 kei na 80, (Drilling at Wainaba had started in the 1970s and 80s),” he said.

“Last year, there was a change in our committee as all the former committee members were not re-elected.”

The new committee, he said, had laid out a five-year dalo planting plan for the clan and the advice from the Namosi Joint Venture was to involve the Ministry ofAgriculture so that Government was involved.

The officers from the Ministry of Agriculture responded positvely to the mataqali’s request and Mr Vakatawabai said they conducted a survey and tested the soil at Wainiba.

“The soil at Wainaba was found to be good for our dalo project and it is mataqali land,” he said.

“Just when we were about to start with this project at Wainiba, the roadblock started.

“As head of the mataqali Nabukebuke, I’m querying as to why this group within the clan erected the roadblock.”

He said the group said they were erecting the roadblock because the piece of land was for them to feed on (kanakana).

However, Mr Vakatawabai said currrently members of the Nabukebuke clan were planting on land given to them and they wanted to move their plantation to their own piece of land, but the group just erected the roadblock.

He said they wanted to move to that piece of land because the company wanted to carry out drilling further up. Mr Vakatawabai did not want to go into details about this issue, as it was now a Police case.

On their project, he said currently they had 55,000 dalo plants on the ground and in February, they would plant another 55,000.

Village headman and spokesman, Atonio Anasa said Namosi Joint Venture had supplied them with manure, weedicide, three chainsaws, 20 knapsacks, 20 digging forks, 50 manure Teitei blender, 20 barbed wire coils, drums, nails, hammers, etc. The company, he said, bought the clan $31,000 worth of farming equipments.

He claimed no financial assistance has come from Government and they were hoping help would come their way one day.

They have the market and the plan is to send a container of dalo every month overseas.

Mr Anasa said Police were at Namosi yesterday to continue their investigation on the roadblock.

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Minister to meet with Namosi Joint Venture

Fiji Village

Lands and Mineral Resources Minister Mereseini Vuniwaqa is currently in Namosi and is expected to meet with the landowners and officials of the Namosi Joint Venture.

Her visit to Namosi follows the arrest of a 57-year-old man who allegedly told a group of construction workers contracted by the Namosi Joint Venture to stop work and remove the machinery from the Wainibama Access Road last week.

The man has also been charged with one count of obstruction under the Mining Act.

It is alleged that the man also erected a roadblock with other villagers without lawful authority.

Read more on the Namosi protest: Namosi mine protest flares up again

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Namosi Mine Protest Flares Up Again

Namosi landowners' representative Sipiriano Nariva.-- Photo: Samisoni Pareti

Namosi landowners’ representative Sipiriano Nariva.– Photo: Samisoni Pareti

One man charged by police for obstructing mining work

Samisoni Pareti | Islands Business

Landowners’ opposition to the proposed multi-million dollar copper and gold mine on central Viti Levu, Fiji’s main island has flared up again this week with the arrest by Fijian police of a 57-year old landowner.

Police say the man was detained after landowners – believed to be from the village of Namosi in Namosi Province — erected a roadblock on a road being built by mining conglomerate Namosi Joint Venture – a partnership between Australia’s mining giant Newcrest and two Japanese interests.

The 57-year old who is alleged to have ordered a group of construction workers to leave a mining site as well as unlawfully erecting a roadblock yesterday has been charged.

“The accused has been charged with one count of obstructing the holder of a mining tenement,” police in Suva said in a brief press statement released a short time ago. “He will be produced at the Navua Magistrates Court tomorrow.”

Police confirmed a few other men were detained for questioning and have been released. Among them was Sipiriano Nariva, secretary of the Namosi Tikina (district) Landowners Committee (TNLC). He told Islands Business Online his 57-year old older brother was the only one arrested by police when they broke up their roadblock protest in Namosi on Wednesday.

“I volunteered to be arrested too, and police took me and my brother to Navua Police Station where we spent the night in the station’s jail. I was not questioned by police, only my brother was, and I was released to go this morning.”

According to Nariva, more than 20 men, members of TNLC erected the roadblock to protest NJV’s use of their land to construct a new road. He said landowners had offered a different land to be used by the mining company, but NJV rejected the offer.

He said although the head of the landowning unit had signed away the use of the land to NJV, the landowning leader later realised he doesn’t have the power to give away the land, and that at least 60 per cent of his landowning unit members needed to give their consent. This Nariva said was never given, and he accused the Fiji Police of strong arm tactics.

“We don’t know why police are involved in this civil dispute in the first place,” said Nariva. “When we held a meeting with government officials on November 6th late last year, police officers surrounded the meeting house, and a senior police came in to declare that he would be chairing the meeting.

“Police have no need to intervene in this dispute and we will seek a meeting with the Prime Minister to raise our concerns.”

Following earlier protests by TNLC members in 2012, PM Bainimarama intervened and ordered NJV to restore land it had damaged through its copper and gold exploration works in Namosi. His government has since deferred handing NJV the licence to mine.


Villager charged by police

Avinesh Gopal | Fiji Times

A VILLAGER has been charged by police with one count of obstructing the holder of a mining tenement.

The 57-year old man is alleged to have ordered a group of construction workers to leave a mining site as well as unlawfully erecting a roadblock yesterday. Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro said the man will be produced at the Navua Magistrates Court tomorrow. Ms Naisoro said a few other people were taken in by police for questioning and released as investigations continue.

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Namosi man in custody for erecting ‘unlawful’ roadblock

Seems the police are again serving the interests of the company NOT the people (despite what it says on their badge). Funny how the police never arrest the mining company executives when they pollute and destroy people’s environment…

And whatever happened to freedom of speech and the right to defend your land…

Watisoni Butabua | Fiji Village

fiji policeA 57-year-old man of Namosi was arrested by police yesterday evening after he allegedly told a group of construction workers contracted by the Namosi Joint Venture [Newcrest Mining] to stop work and remove machinery from the Wainabama Access Road.

Police said the suspect is also alleged to have erected a roadblock with other villagers without lawful authority.

The suspect is currently in custody at the Navua Police Station as investigations continue.

Police Chief of Operations ACP Rusiate Tudravu said police will not entertain those who choose to take the law into their own hands.

Tudravu said there are legal ways of having their grievances heard.

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