Tag Archives: Papua New Guinea

K1bn needed for Solwara 1

Cedric Patjole | PNG Loop | October 14, 2017

More than K1 billion in remaining project financing is needed to fund the Solwara 1 Project in New Ireland Province.

Nautilus Minerals Inc. revealed this when announcing the appointment of its exclusive financial advisor – Deep Sea Mining Finance Ltd (DSMF).

In a statement, the Canadian company indicated that a remaining project financing of US$350 million was needed, which DSMF will be leveraging, to complete the build and deployment of the sea oor production system to be utilised at the Solwara 1 Project.

Nautilus said DSMF will seek to leverage the international expertise and financial relationships of Nautilus’ two major shareholders to assist in advancing the development of the project.

Nautilus has stated that there are no assurances that it will secure the necessary additional funding and a failure to do so may result in it undergoing various transactions, which include asset sales, joint ventures and capital restructurings.

DSMF is a newly-incorporated private company in the British Virgin Islands.

Nautilus has also announced that it has terminated a ‘Bridge Financing Agreement’ signed in 2016 with Metalloinvest Holding (Cyprus) Limited and Mawarid Offshore Mining Ltd.

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Phillip Miriori: Why Bougainvilleans are having their say – ‘No to BCL’

Bougainvilleans proudly display “No BCL Ever” T-shirts. Image: Me’ekamui

Phillip Miriori | Asia Pacific Report | 13 October 2017

As many would be aware, we Bougainvilleans have been through a tough history with the disasters that came from the past operations at Panguna, then owned by Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL).

One of the key issues that led to our civil war, when around 20,000 of our friends and family died, was the way we were treated by BCL then – entering our lands without consent, poisoning our gardens and lives, removing our mountains, inviting in the military and ignoring our views, without compensating us fairly.

Since the end of the conflict, BCL has made no effort to resolve the damage they caused to our people, lands and rivers – infact they deny any responsibility and are trying to tell us what to do again, calling us impediments when we do not agree with the rules they try and dictate.

Have they learned nothing or think we have forgotten?

We have fought hard to protect ourselves from the same thing happening again if Panguna re-opens, and the new Bougainville mining law transferred ownership of the minerals to the landowners. As a result, now nothing can happen to our minerals without our consent.

Our Special Mining Lease Osikaiyang Landowners Association (SMLOLA) members are now in a position to make BCL, the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) and the world respect our views. One of the key steps in the process of late has been our efforts to protect ourselves from the attempt to force the return of BCL without our consent.

We have had to use the Courts to ensure we are listened too and the result has been a landmark mediation process, right here on our lands at Dapera led by Justice Kandakasi.

Mediation process

The mediation process was initiated by me to try and help resolve the challenge to my leadership of the SMLOLA by Mr Lawrence Daveona, despite the fact he is not following custom in recognising my leadership position, a position I was born into.

He also wants BCL to return despite everything they have done and failed to do, which is strongly opposed by the majority of our members, as demonstrated by the petition against the return of BCL which now stands at around 2000 members saying “No to BCL”.

The mediator has now given us one more opportunity to try and resolve this among our family which I am keen to do. I firmly believe we can all unite to protect our people against the return of BCL and I promise to make every effort to do that with Mr Daveona and the ABG.

I want to work with them to ensure any redevelopment of Panguna is done properly this time and our members are protected and looked after, respected and treated equally and fairly.

The primary objective of the mediation was to try and resolve the challenge to my rightful leadership of the SMLOLA by Mr Daveona, which I firmly believe is unlawful and will take to the courts again if necessary. I am making every effort to accommodate him as unity will have a very valuable benefit for all of us and the future of Bougainville.

One of the other valuable objectives that has come from the mediation and I have committed to work on, is to more closely align our association’s constitution with our Nasioi customs, moving key decisions back to our clan system that has been our way since time immemorial. I strongly support that and encourage everyone to participate as I believe it will assist in making any benefit sharing from a future mine fairer for all.

The mediation over the past few weeks, has also given our women, the owners of our land, the opportunity to stand up and be heard. Some of them are against mining and one of my important tasks will be to work with them further as I believe Independence for Bougainville is very important and mining, if done responsibly and with people who we can trust, who will show us respect and fairness, will enable us to get there quicker.

As part of that process, in my role as the chairman of the SMLOLA and an elder to our clans, I have worked hard to attract a reputable international mining company who has both the social and environmental track record to make sure this time the mine could be developed successfully, fully integrated into our local community.

Revolutionary law

From the time the new transitional mining law was passed in 2014, I worked closely with President Momis and both Mining Ministers, Michael Oni and Robin Wilson. In fact, on the day the law was passed I was invited to meet with President Momis at the ABG Parliament to celebrate the new revolutionary Bougainville Mining Act, which uniquely, gave ownership of the land and minerals, back to the landowners to try and repair some of the mistreatment of our people in the past.

They were then opposed to the return of BCL and supportive of our efforts right through until March this year when suddenly and inexplicably something changed. They would no longer engage with us, would not explain why and started a very public campaign supporting BCL and a challenge of my leadership by Mr Daveona.

I didn’t select RTG Mining Inc. lightly, even going to a mine their management developed in the Philippines with a group of both Panguna landowners and ABG Ministers to see how they do things. In fact, the three ABG Ministers that came to see the RTG operation in Philippines expressed support for RTG.

Over time we came to develop a trust with RTG’s management and believe they will make the redevelopment of Panguna a great success, working closely with our members. They have supported the hard work we have done over the last year to defend ourselves against the illegal return of BCL.

Misled through lies

It is disappointing that some try to mislead through lies. The suggestion that improper payments were made to ABG officials is both ridiculous and untrue. They are currently working against us and strongly pushing BCL and Lawrence, rather than being impartial which is all we ask of them.

Despite the current position of the ABG, we are confident that they will eventually hear our firm views – “No to BCL!” and we remain committed to working with them to find a solution where all will win, including the ABG. We must talk openly and respectfully to find a fair solution. The law and views must be respected and we will continue to fight for that for our members.

The mediation is not a forum to make a final call on who the developer should be and if the mine should be redeveloped, which must be done in conjunction with all our members, but it has been invaluable to be able to showcase the opportunities to highlight the issues and concerns with a possible return of BCL.

In fact, BCL and the ABG have publicly admitted they cannot develop the project themselves and would have to find a partner. Who will that be, why won’t they tell us? How can someone support them when we do not even know who the actual developer will be?

I hope that the discussions at the mediation will assist Mr Daveona to understand why our people would be better off without the return of BCL. And I will continue to work with him to try and reconcile our positions so we can stand united against them and get a far better result for our people, developing a model that is win-win for the people of Bougainville and the ABG.

Phillip Miriori is chairman of the Special Mining Lease Osikaiyang Landowners Association (SMLOLA), Me’ekamui Government of Unity and SMLOLA.

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Filed under Environmental impact, Financial returns, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

Rio Tinto shares in BCL not transferred to either ABG or PNG govt

On 30 June 2016 Rio Tinto announced it had transferred its 53.8 per cent shareholding in Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) to an independent trustee.

But, no share transfer documents appear in the records of the Investment Promotion Authority in Port Moresby and, 16 months after the announcement, Rio Tinto is still listed as holding 214,887,996 or 53.5% of the shares in BCL.

In its original announcement, Rio also said, Equity Trustees Limited would manage the distribution of the shares between the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) and the Independent State of Papua New Guinea (PNG).

According to Rio, under a trust deed, the ABG had the opportunity to receive 68 per cent of Rio Tinto’s shareholding in BCL (being 36.4% of all BCL’s shares) from the independent trustee for no consideration and PNG was entitled to the remaining 32 per cent (equal to 17.4 per cent of BCL’s shares).

Rio also added, under the Trust Deed, should either beneficiary of the trust not apply for the transfer of the BCL shares attributable to them within two months, then those shares will be made available to the other party.

According to IPA records, neither the ABG or PNG government has received any transfer of the shares and neither currently has any shareholding in BCL.

Entity_Extract-BOUGAINVILLE_COPPER_LIMITED-1-1895

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Filed under Financial returns, Papua New Guinea

ABG claims of financial independence if mine reopens ridiculed

Nasioi Writer responds to Member for Kokoda, Rodney Osioco’s claims the Bougainville government will be financially self reliant if BCL is allowed to reopen the Panguna mine.

Mr. Osioco I can probably forgive you for being so naive and sentimental. Where and when is this extractive industry madness going to end. Your little baby government cannot even account for funding it gets from National Government which ends up in your private accounts as we are being told. Is this how you are going to manage the millions you get from mining and pay tit bits to the landowners who to this day have never been compensated adequately for loss of everything from environment, rivers, and land which is the source of their livelihood?

We are fed up with ABG preaching that agriculture, tourism is not enough to run the economy of Bougainville. Coming from a government that is wasteful with buying fleets and of cars and staying at expensive hotels, I find this hard to believe.

I wonder how much these politicians carrying out awareness are being paid? Isn’t this work suppose to be given to others to do? Maski giaman nabaut kisim allowance na mekim awareness.

The introduction of mining into our midst is causing so much confusion and division among the people who should be united to vote in the forth coming referendum. ABG’s push for mining with BCL at it’s helm is now being challenged by another player RTG which supposedly has the cash and elaborate plans to deal with issues ahead. I don’t support mining in any form or shape because already these companies are sprinkling cash this way and that. This is where corruption takes root if is not already eating away at ABG.

Opposition to Mining is mounting and I think it is time Hon. Osioco and his colleagues started to look at alternatives otherwise we are going to face another catastrophe at the hands of mining companies.

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Filed under Corruption, Financial returns, Papua New Guinea

Drilling to recommence at Crater Mountain

Cedric Patjole | PNG Loop | October 11, 2017

Crater Gold Mining Limited has announced to recommence drilling activities in the near term following an agreement to acquire a drill rig.

The company said this in line with its strategy to restart exploration at its flagship Crater Mountain Gold Project in Eastern Highlands Province.

CGM has agreed to purchase a 2002 Atlas Copco Diamec 252 drill rig (“Diamec 252 Drill Rig”) together with additional ancillary equipment. They include: A 415 volt 45 kilowatt electric over hydraulic power pack; A 1,000 volt 45 kilowatt electric over hydraulic power pack; An air over 22 kilowatt hydraulic power pack;Bob Cat mounting accessories; And feed frames and positioners, skid mounted; and Hydraulic motors and pumps.

The Diamec 252 Drill Rig is a very compact drill rig and is estimated to be able to drill diamond core holes of up to approximately 300 metres in length.

Despite reports that the CGM has had difficulties raising capital, the announcement is expected to see positive results shortly.

The project is located approximately 50km southwest of Goroka and comprises 3 connecting exploration licences, straddling the border between the Chimbu and Eastern Highlands provinces.

This region is in the centre of the New Guinea Orogen, an extensive geological zone that makes up the mountainous spine of PNG. The western portion of this zone encompasses the world class mining operations of Porgera, OK Tedi, Wafi-Golpu and Grasberg.

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ABG will be financially self-reliant if mine reopens: MP

Post Courier | October 11, 2017

The re-opening of the Panguna mine will ensure the Autonomous Region of Bougainville is financially self-reliant and able to adequately support its economy as it transits to eventual referendum.
This is according to Member for Kokoda constituency Rodney Osioco.
“The Bougainville Government (ABG) currently relies heavily on the K20 million annual grant from the national government which is insufficient to fund service delivery and developments in the region,” Mr Osioco said,
“The ABG is also owed millions in outstanding grants which the national government is obligated to provide under the Bougainville peace agreement.”
This was made known to the community government and ward representatives from the North Nasioi constituency of Kieta district during an awareness program conducted in Arawa last week by members of the House of Representatives from Central Bougainville.
Acting as the Central Bougainville leaders political bloc, the group led by Mr Osioco, is currently conducting awareness on issues surrounding the re-opening of the mine.
Mr Osioco said the revenue generated from the re-opening of the mine would be the catalyst that would boost other sectors like agriculture and tourism and prop up the economy of Bougainville if it is granted independence.
“As the referendum nears, we as your leaders, have come to create awareness and seek your views on the re-opening of the mine.
“We would like to outline to you that agriculture, tourism and other industries alone cannot support the Bougainville economy and that is why we need to re-open Panguna,” Mr Osioco said.
He said Bougainville Copper Limited was the preferred operator of the mine if it was re-opened and that the company would still be held liable for compensation and other issues which arose before the crisis.
He said the ABG was now the major shareholder of BCL owning 53.8 per cent of which 17.4 per cent belong to the landowners. The Papua New Guinea Government owns 19 per cent of BCL.
“The ABG became the major shareholder after Rio Tinto offloaded its 36 per cent stake in BCL to the ABG,” Mr Osioco said.

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Filed under Financial returns, Papua New Guinea

Barrick calls for collaboration with MPs on ‘grim challenges’

Post Courier | October 10, 2017

In the face of a number of grimchallenges, the Porgera Joint Venture (PJV) mining operator Barrick Niugini Limited (BNL) has now called for greater cooperation from Engan members of parliament towards the achievement of the provinces’ development agenda.
At a recent briefing session with Engan leaders in Port Moresby, BNL executive managing director, Richmond Fenn highlighted a number of challenges that were impeding the progress of the provincial development agenda, which included; illegal mining, the state of the highlands highway, law and order, resettlement and the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) review.
Mr Fenn highlighted the management issues of the Porgera Development Authority (PDA), the Paiam Hospital and functions of the District Administration.
He also raised issues faced by the mine such as the proposed amendments to the Mining Act; the proposed amendment to the MRA Act and increasing the Tax Credit Scheme(TCS) rate.
“While some of the issues we can manage as a company, others are more complex and need considerable amounts of commitment from the government to make it work,” said Mr Fenn.
“The partnerships that we generate from these kinds of gatherings where we are required to work together on issues that affect us all, are of the utmost importance to us,’’ he said.
Engan governor Sir Peter Ipatas supported the call, adding that as a non-renewable venture, sufficient collaborative action needed to be taken to secure the future of Enga.
“We have to work to sustain Porgera to continue to provide services. The mine will come to an end.
In the future, the province will have to fall on its own economy,” said Sir Peter said.
“We have the right leadership and we have to incorporate our plans for development into the government agenda,” he said.
Sir Peter said the national government should consider funding arrangements for Enga’s special project plans, particularly through an increase in the TCS rate.
Given the mines history and contributions to the national economy for over 20 years.

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Filed under Financial returns, Papua New Guinea