Tag Archives: Philip Samar

Samar Exits MRA

Post Courier | April 17, 2018

Mineral Resources Authority’s (MRA) managing director (MD) Philip Samar’s term in office has expired since April 9.
Mr Samar served as the managing director for four years since his permanent appointment as MD from 2014-2017.
He was appointed acting MD for the MRA in 2012, a post he held until 2014 when he was made permanent.
The outgoing managing director also took the opportunity to thank the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and the government for the opportunity given to lead the MRA in the last six years since 2012.
Mr Samar thanked the Prime Minister for his confidence in appointing him to be head of the statutory authority responsible for regulating the exploration and mining sector in PNG. The last six years have been the highlight of his career over the last 21 years as a public servant.
“I am privileged to serve the government, the people of Papua New Guinea especially the mining project stakeholders and the exploration and mining industry.
“I am satisfied I have done my part in nation building through managing the MRA and servicing the mining industry. Since the MRA’s establishment in 2007, the statutory authority has performed well in regulating and promoting Papua New Guinea’s mineral sector,” he said.
Mr Samar said for the last 10 years, the mining industry has been the single largest contributor of revenue to the national purse contributing over 60 percent of revenue annually.
“This makes the sector important and the government must continue to support the sector by creating a conducive environment where the industry is allowed to operate sustainably, safely, profitably and responsibly,” Mr Samar said.
He said the government must realise the expected benefits to be derived from these projects such as employment, taxes, duties, royalties, dividends, compensation, training and business spinoffs.
As outgoing MD, Mr Samar said there was still room for more improvements and urged the government to consider to:
– Support the MRAs ongoing regulatory roles by strengthening its governance, independence and resourcing.
– Revise the proposed amendments to the Mining Act to capture additional practical administrative improvements.
– Review and revise the Mining Safety Act 1977.
– Strengthen the regulation of the small scale mining alluvial gold sector.
– Improve training, create awareness and provide capital and appropriate technology to the alluvial miners around the country.
– Change the current benefits sharing arrangements via MOAs to a more project delivery model.
– Review and revise the government’s equity participation in major mining projects.
– Better organise itself to optimise its participation in the Wafi and Frieda copper projects.

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Aggrieved landowners say they are missing out on Ramu mine benefits

Post Courier | April 6, 2018

The RAMU Nickel Project has life span of over 35 years, according to project developer Ramu NiCo Limited.
And with exploration continuing, the project life’s span could even increase, vice president of Ramu NiCo Management (MCC) Limited, Wang Baowen said on Wednesday when addressing aggrieved landowners at Mindre village.
Mr Wang was accompanied Mineral Resources Authority cheif executive officer Philip Samar, MRA senior officers and a legal officer from the Investment Promotion Authority.
Mr Wang was addressing aggrieved landowners who petitioned the Government and the developer over what they claimed were missed business opportunities, compensation payments, royalties and environmental issues.
Certain community leaders alleged at the gathering that minerals were being shipped out of the country in ship loads after ship loads and they were suspicious that the mine life of the project was coming to its end soon.
However, Ramu NiCo Community affairs manager Albert Tobe said such stories that are being speculated were not true.
Mr Wang said that initially the mine’s life-span was about 25 years, however, with recent exploration and discoveries of ore up at the Kurumbukari plateau, the mine life may extend to over 30 years.
He told landowners of Basamuk that the developer is also a local company with interests of landowners, State and the province at heart.
“Am very clear regarding your concerns on business opportunities,” Mr Wang said.
Mr Wang said the company had to face many difficult challenges initially from the start until it went into production.
He said it is also a big challenge for Chinese employees working in PNG particularly with the language, cultural here, and the challenge of leaving behind their families to come to PNG just to operate the project.
However, that was a big commitment they have made for the development of the economy and its people.
Mr Wang said it was only last year that the company achieved full production capacity.
He also told the landowners at Mindre that all compensation claims which they were seeking must come within an agreement.
“With regards to business opportunities, we want to give business to landowners and we provide what we can, but there are other businesses that require strict management requirement” Mr Wang said.
He said the company is willing to discuss further with the landowners through Ramu NiCo community affairs department business development section to deliver their requirements in business opportunities.

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App brings alluvial miners, buyers closer

The National aka The Loggers Times | February 26, 2018

ALLUVIAL miners throughout the country will now be able to trade directly with buyers all over the world through a mobile phone application.
The Mintrad app was launched in Alotau, Milne Bay, on Thursday during the Alluvial and Small Scale Mining Convention 2018.
It is an initiative of the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) and is a platform for facilitating trading of alluvial gold.
Miners will be able to communicate with buyers, negotiate prices based on world market prices and get the best maximum selling prices.
It is about making trade easily accessible to simple rural miners in the comfort of their own villages.
The app will be upgraded and improved as trading commences and feedback is received from users.
It was launched by Mining Minister Johnson Tuke and Esa’ala MP and Minister for Justice and Attorney-General Davis Steven.
MRA managing director Philip Samar said the alluvial and small-scale mining sector was the mining sector’s small-to-medium enterprise.
He said launching of the app was consistent with one of MRA’s main target this year, which was to develop the small-scale mining sector through awareness, funding assistance and appropriate technology.
The staging of the convention was an initiative of the Esa’ala district development authority with the leadership and support of Steven.
Samar commended Steven for his initiative and urged other MPs who represent mining districts to partner with MRA to develop the sector.

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Industry regulator not bothered by liquidation

MRA won’t intervene in Tolukuma mine fiasco

No Cancellation of Licence

Post Courier | February 25, 2018

Mineral Resources Authority managing director Philip Samar says any assumption of the cancellation of the Tolukuma Mine licence following it being put under liquidation is not true.

He said the government and MRA, the industry regulator, have not cancelled anything and the issue is a purely commercial one for the operator of the mine and Singapore-based Asidokona Mining Resources limited and its creditors.

Mr Samar said the liquidation order handed down where MRA and the Government had not caused the liquidation.

“The mine owner, they have been operating the mine they went and took credit for services and now they have not repaid those creditors.”

“So one of the creditors decided to take the company to court and they are entitled to do that. This is where it is and that is exactly what this is about.”

“One of the creditors has taken the company to court because the company has not repaid them, so nothing to do with the government and nothing to do with MRA,” Mr Samar said.

He said as the court has appointed a liquidator, the liquidator has powers to now dispose of the assets of the company to recoup funds to repay the creditors.

“We need to keep the government and the MRA out of this. Every company goes through that process and if you owe somebody something those people will come and take you to court.”

Early this month the National Court ordered the mine to be liquidated after a service provider took Asidokona to court for non-payment of bills totaling more than K715,000.

The court ordered on February 08, 2018, the mine be placed into liquidation under the provisions of the Companies Act. IPI Catering and Pacific Development Contractors submitted in support their statements to the court, as they were also owed K1.6 million and K1.8 million respectively by Tolukuma Gold Mines. Asidokona Mining Resources is a private company that bought Tolukuma gold mine in Central Province in 2015 and they took over from Petromin.

Tolukuma Lies With Financiers

February 25, 2018

Following orders by the National Court to liquidate the assets of Tolukuma Gold Mine to pay off creditors, potential financiers of the debt will have the opportunity to take up stakes in the mine.

Mineral Resources Authority managing director Philip Samar said about the process the mine will have to go through.

“So the court has now appointed a liquidator, which is the administrator, and so the liquidator now has a court appointed process to now say that this mine is available and anybody who wants to offset the credit can come and see me.

“Asidokona is now going through its finances trying to get the money to repay, talking to potential financers to give it the money so that they can repay the creditors and take back the mine for themselves,” Mr Samar said.

He said this also means is that any person with the finances can call up the liquidator and lend some money to help.

Mr Samar said whoever can assist the liquidator sort out the creditors can have the mining lease transferred to them.

“If Asidokona can go and find the money and sort out the liquidators then the mining lease reverts back to them.

“Is somebody else fronts up to the creditor and got funds and are able to offset all of that than the mining lease gets transferred to them,” he said.

Creditors of the company are required to lodge their claims by March 14. From this a real debt figure for the mine will be determined for either the operator or interested financiers to pay.

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No decision made in Bulolo licence application

Bulolo township

The National aka The Loggers Times | November 15, 2017

THE Mineral Resource Authority has clarified that a decision is yet to be made on the application for an exploration licence in Bulolo.
Managing director Philip Samar was responding to the claim by Bulolo district administrator Tae Gwambelek that an exploration licence (EL2544) had been issued.
Gwambelek had supported the objection by business houses, Papua New Guinea Forest Products and town residents over the alleged issuing of the exploration licence over existing leases near the town.
But Samar said no licence had been issued.
Samar said the MRA would conduct a wardens-hearing to allow the public and stakeholders to discuss their concerns and raise objections against the application.
After that, he said the warden would table a report with the mining advisory council for consideration.
“There will be no need for a township relocation just because an EL application has been lodged,” he said.
He also clarified that the MRA “does not issue tenements”.
“It recommends (it) to the minister or the head of the state,” Samar said.
Gwambelek said the application would be opposed.
“Bulolo residents are prepared for the scheduled hearing on November 28 to tell the warden that Australia has done enough damage to land in Bulolo,” Gwambelek said.
Morobe acting Governor Waka Daimon said that the land from Golden Pine Bridge to McAdams Park across to Manki Tower and along the Watut River down to Pine Top was owned by the National Forest Authority.

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Bulolo opposing new mining exploration

Bulolo township

The National aka The Loggers Times| November 10, 2017

THE Bulolo district administration is strongly opposing a licence for exploration activities near the town because the land had been damaged by past explorations, Administrator Tae Gwambelek says.

The administration is supporting the move by the business community and PNG Forest Products  (PNGFP) after the Mineral Resource Authority  (MRA) issued EL2544 to the Wabu Alluvial Mining company  (WAM).

Administrator Tae Gwambelek said Australia had done enough damage to land in Bulolo leaving behind huge craters on which the township was built.

“History will never be repeated again,” Gwambelek said.

“We have Hidden Valley and Wafi-Golpu mining including many small-scale activities. That is enough.”

Gwambelek said the Bulolo district development authority also acquired an exploration licence from MRA to conduct explorations outside Wau and Bulolo towns.

“How on earth, will MRA issue the EL 2544 to WAM to conduct explorations within the town? It is illogical,” he said.

“Bulolo town is not an exploration area and we totally object to the idea.

“We have PNGFP, National Forest Authority, University of Bulolo, Telikom Exchange, district administration office, police and courthouse and many small businesses operating in town and paying taxes to the government.

He said as the district chief executive representing 102,118 people in 324 villages and 108 wards, the idea was 100 per cent rejected.

He said the scheduled warden hearing on Nov 28, would be facilitated in front of the district headquarters to allow people to air their views.

Bulolo business representative Aaron Akui urged Minister for Mining Johnson Tuke and MRA chief executive Philip Samar to review the decision.

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High corruption risks in several areas: Mining Report

Cedric Patjole | PNG Loop | October 26, 2017

A Transparency International PNG Country Report has revealed high corruption risks in several areas of the Mining Licences Process.

The report, which was launched today, has highlighted key areas that need to be addressed urgently to minimise the risk of corruption.

The report comes from TIPNG’s participation in a global research initiative called the Mining for Sustainable Development (M4SD) program.

TIPNG says the need to identify risks in the mining licence process is because the awards process is the start of the mining value chain and any effects of corruption there will be passed along, eventually impacting the country’s sustainable development.

TIPNG Chairman, Lawrence Stephens, said regulatory systems should be improved so that the wealth generated from the mining sector should be used for the welfare of Papua New Guinea.

“Through reports like this that we can start to make a difference, start to assist people whose job it is to try to make sure all the people of this country benefit,” he said.

The high risk areas highlighted in the report include cross-institutional capacity; human resources of regulatory agencies; coherence of feasibility studies and MOAs, lack of a national geospatial agency; consultation, representative bodies and associated business entities; lack of CSR reporting requirements; and risks concerning women, vulnerable persons and marginalised groups.

Present at the launch was Mineral Resources Authority Managing Director, Phillip Samar, who said some of the issues highlighted are not new to them but are ongoing.

However, he said the MRA will continue to have dialogue and work with TIPNG to address the issues raised.

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