Tag Archives: PNG development

PM Gives Assurance Of Further Ramu Mine Probe

Post Courier | October 18, 2019

Prime Minister James Marape says investigations into Ramu Nickel Mine slurry spill at Basamuk Bay in Madang will continue.

He said this after a lengthy and heated debate in Parliament yesterday after a report on the August 24, 2019, incident was presented by Environment and Conservation and Climate Change Minister Geoffrey Kama.

“I note most Members of Parliament have a conversation to make in regards to this ministerial statement presented,” Mr Marape said.

“As indicated by the minister, there’ll be further assessment and investigation.

“Every stakeholder, including the Governor for Madang (Peter Yama), has every right to have an interest in this matter.

“When matters relate to the security of our people, the interest of our people, and matters relating to the environment, it is just and responsible that we all have a concern.

“We note the concern that was raised by every Member of Parliament, especially the Governor for Madang and Member for Rai Coast (Peter Sapia) in the immediate precinct and affected areas.

“We are grateful for the comments by every leader this afternoon, in response to the statement minister has made.

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Mr Marape said Northern Governor Gary Juffa had made a strong statement, as well as Kompiam-Ambum MP and former Environment and Conservation Minister, Sir John Pundari.

“Every other statement is also correct, finding the right balance,” he said.

“Our harvest of resources comes from the price on our environment.

“We’ve allowed those investors to come in, but the investors who come in must operate within responsibility and due care to our environment, to our country, and to our people.

“I think from the outset, without the specifics on the impact on the environment, the fact that there was a practical defect in the structure of the mine itself is an incident that warrants deeper study into what was taking place, in as far as the mine safety and operation is concerned.

“Cabinet did indicate this to the minister, and I note that minister’s statement embraces further investigation, further assessment.

“Let me assure people of Madang, people of Rai Coast, people of Usino-Bundi and people of this country, that this report and the investigation thus far is not conclusive and that is not the end of the story.

“The fact that there was a slip, which took place in the mine infrastructure, irrespective of the extent of the damage, warrants deeper scrutiny, deeper investigation, deeper assessment.”

Mr Marape assured the people of Madang, Usino-Bundi, Rai Coast, as well as the country, that all stakeholders including Madang government, Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (CEPA), Mining Department and other Government agencies would look deeper into what had happened.

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Jeopardising environment through mining impacts lives: Barker

The National aka The Loggers Times | October 8, 2019

PAPUA New Guinea is largely a rural-based society and jeopardising the environment would have a severe impact on the lives of the majority, Institute of National Affairs executive director Paul Barker says.

Barker expressed this concern in Port Moresby last Tuesday in light of the widespread reports of fish and sharks being found dead in the seas of Madang after the slurry spill incident at Ramu nickel mine’s Basamuk refinery on Aug 24.

“Mining invariably has environmental impacts and some countries like Costa Rica have chosen not to permit mining,” Barker said.

“But most, including PNG, allow some under controlled and supervised conditions.

“Clearly, if the potential impact is going to be excessive, or the benefits inadequate, the government and local communities need to be prepared to reject mining operations, or specific practices. Those may include practices related to waste management, including riverine or offshore waste disposal.”

Barker said technology approval on the use of tailings dams, standards, engineering tests, monitoring and oversight and accident planning was critical, with clear requirements for capacity and delineation of responsibilities.

“Unfortunately, in the case of the recent Basamuk leakage, the oversight, management and public awareness systems have so far shown themselves to be deficient,” he said.

“PNG is largely a rural-based society.

“Most people live in rural areas and depend on the health of their land and land use, or rivers and clean marine habitats.

“Jeopardising these environments has a severe impact on the often challenging lives rural people.”

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Barrick Shareholders Call On Authorities To Address Violent Crime

Mining company looks to State to resolve the completely foreseeable social problems it has created…

Post Courier | October 7, 2019

The shareholders of Barrick (Niugini) Limited, operator of the Porgera Mine in Enga Province, have expressed their sadness at the passing of a mine employee who was fatally injured in a shooting incident at the mine on the night of September 29.

They are now calling on the authorities to address criminal behaviour in Porgera.

President and chief executive officer of Barrick Gold Mark Bristow, and chairman of Zijin mining, Chen Jinghe, made the following comments:

“We are deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Samuel Marefa, an asset protection officer at the Porgera mine who sustained a serious gun-shot injury during that night.

“Samuel was evacuated by air to Port Moresby for urgent surgical treatment and he had been in critical condition for several days.

“We received the tragic news last night that following a series of complex surgical procedures he could not hold on.

“Samuel passed away as a consequence of his injuries from the shooting.

“Our company is deeply saddened by his passing, and our thoughts are with Samuel’s wife and family at this difficult time.

“Barrick (Niugini) limited management has been consulting with State authorities since the incident and we have made it clear that we consider it unacceptable that criminals can routinely intrude into operational areas of the mine and behave in this way with impunity.

“The impact of this unlawful and violent behaviour is significant, both in terms of loss of life and serious injury, including to law-abiding mine employees simply trying to earn their living at work, and in terms of the law and order situation in Porgera generally.

“We call on State and provincial authorities to urgently and thoroughly investigate the assault on Mr Marefa, bring the murderers to justice, and to address the rising incidence of violence and lawlessness in the Porgera Valley, which makes it difficult for residents to carry out ordinary activities and lead normal lives.”

Mr Bristow and Mr Chen noted that the company stood ready to work cooperatively with the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary and other authorities in responding to this latest incidence of violence and to finding long-term solutions to the critical state of law and order in the Porgera valley.

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Illegal Porgera mining fuels lawlessness

Bid Ambassi | Post Courier | 1 October 2019

Both government and the operator of the Porgera mine, have to be blamed for not taking tough measures in stamping out illegal mining activities in the Porgera mine. The effect of not addressing the illegal mining activities by the government is contributing to the lawlessness and social problems in the communities.

Law and order problem is increasing in our communities.

Tribal fighting is a major problem that is costing a lot of human lives. There is no peace and harmony in the communities we are living Government properties worth millions of kina, and properties worth thousands of kina and food gardens that are suppose to sustain the livelihood of the people in the communities are being destroyed due to unncessary lawlessness issues caused by drinking.

Illegal mining activities are contributing to social and moral decay, rise of HIV and AIDS diseases, sexually transmitted infections, divorce, multiple marriages, killing, un-necessary untimely and avoidable deaths, unfaithful marriages, laziness and many other related issues.

According to PNG’s Mining Act 1992, it states that all minerals existing on, in, or below the surface of any land in PNG, water lying in any land in PNG, are the property of the State.

But this Mining Act 1992 be comprehensively reviewed and amended, specifically such that ownership of all minerals on and below the sea is vested in the province in whose waters minerals are located.

And maybe to minimise such illegal mining activities that will lead to reduction of social problems, landowners be given greater responsibilities over their resources. Such issues are not addressed effectively and on time, we are leaving the door open for illegal miners, risking their lives at all costs, trying to grab a share of the benefits through stealing.

This is like a survival-of-the fittest game where only the strongest and the bravest men used to enter the state fortified positions and grab themselves a gram of gold. According to the law of man and of God, stealing is sin. And sin is the transgression of the law. The wages of sin is death.

Many of our illegal miners have been killed by the security forces at the mine site.

Many illegal miners are creating social havoc in our communities.

Getting money through stealing has caused so much damage in our communities.

Getting money through stealing, buying beer and drinking, we are not responsible in our drinking behaviour.

We are getting drunk and behaving like animals with no human senses.

We are creating unnecessary avoidable problems that are damaging our social harmony.

Such issues needs urgent attention by the government.

More and more awareness needs to be carried out, educating people on how to respect the law and to behave responsibly.

Many are stubborn because there is no proper education.

On that, our illiteracy rate is very high and people do not know what appropriate actions to be taken.

Therefore, my life saving advice to the illegal miners is that it is better we refrain from risking our own lives and also we need to think about the greater good of our communities.

Finally, the Government needs to urgently address this illegal mining issues because the longer it delays the more problems are created by the illegal miners in our communities.

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Illegal Intrusion Deaths Self-Inflicted – Barrick

Barrick Gold engages in some nice victim blaming rather than addressing the bigger question of why people have to resort to illegal mining to try and survive…

Post Courier | October 1, 2019

Barrick Niugini Limited (BNL), operator of the Porgera gold mine in Enga, reported that a number of illegal intruders have been seriously injured after falling from height in the open pit area of the mine.

Mine management reported that during the night of Sunday September 29, several large groups of unauthorised intruders, believed to be illegal miners, gained access to the mine’s open pit, and that a number of the intruders were injured after falling from extremely steep inclines while climbing through the area.

While separate from the earlier incident the same night in which a Porgera asset protection officer was shot and seriously wounded, all of the incidents underscore the danger to life created by illegal intrusions and the flagrant disregard for private property and law and order.

BNL executive managing director Tony Esplin confirmed that two of the intruders suffered fatal head injuries and several others have sustained serious injuries requiring urgent medical treatment, which the mine is providing.

“There were at least two separate incidents during the evening where large groups of intruders moved through extremely steep parts of the open pit that are prone to instability,” Mr Esplin said.

“Initial reports indicate that several intruders have lost their footing in these areas, with tragic consequences.

“These incidents highlight the enormous risks that intruders and unauthorized persons face when they seek illegal entry to the operational areas of the mine.

“The PJV has repeatedly warned these intruders, many of whom are from areas outside of Porgera such as Kandep, Laigam and Tari, of the hazards of conducting illegal mining in the operational areas of the mine, but sadly our warnings are not heeded.”

Mine management has noted that local reports alleging that the injured were shot or injured by police or mine security are not true, and that all of the injured had fallen from height.

“The injured persons are currently receiving medical treatment at the mine medical centre, and following further assessment by medical staff, those with more serious injuries may require transfer to hospitals elsewhere,” he said.

Barrick (Niugini) Limited has advised relevant authorities about the incidents, and will be working closely with the police and others as they investigate these events.

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PNG to seek more from Exxon on P’nyang deal than Total’s Papua LNG

“It has to be better. It has to be far better. That’s the key point.”

Jessica Jaganathan and Sonali Paul | Reuters | September 25, 2019

Papua New Guinea will press Exxon Mobil Corp for “far better” terms on its P’nyang gas project than the government secured in a recent agreement with Total SA for its Papua LNG project, the country’s petroleum minister said.

The P’nyang field will help feed an expansion of Exxon’s PNG LNG plant. If negotiations for the project are protracted, that could delay Exxon’s $13 billion plan with Total’s Papua LNG to double the country’s liquefied natural gas exports by 2024.

Talks on P’nyang were put on hold earlier this year when the government sought to revise Total’s Papua LNG agreement. That deal was finally endorsed in early September, with minor concessions from Total.

Formal talks on the P’nyang project have yet to begin, with the government waiting for information from Exxon, PNG Petroleum Minister Kerenga Kua told Reuters on the sidelines of the annual LNG Producer-Consumer conference in Tokyo.

Asked whether the government would seek the same terms from Exxon on the P’nyang project as it secured from Total, Kua said: “It has to be better. It has to be far better. That’s the key point.”

Exxon Mobil, which is also a partner in the Papua LNG project, said it is looking forward to working with the PNG government to conclude the gas agreement for the P’nyang project ahead of decisions on design work for the addition of three new processing units, called trains, at PNG LNG.

“The verification of the gas agreement for the Papua LNG project confirms the commitment of all parties to make the project a success and provide value for all stakeholders,” an Exxon Mobil spokeswoman said in emailed response to Reuters when asked to comment on Kua’s remarks.

The push to extract more benefits from the P’nyang project is part of a wider effort by PNG’s new government to reap more rewards from the country’s mineral and petroleum resources to lift the country out of poverty.

Kua said the government would begin working with foreign investors next year to review natural resource extraction laws, which mostly stem from before PNG won independence in 1975.

The country is already in the process of revising its Mining Act, and next year will look to update its petroleum legislation to match regulations in other nations that produce LNG.

“In early 2020 the government will look at such changes in our regulatory set-up in close consultation with our development partners,” Kua said at the conference.

“This consultation is necessary to ensure Papua New Guinea is walking forward in lock-step with its investors,” he said.

“Whilst attracting FDI (foreign direct investment) in the oil and gas sector, reaping and sharing the rewards involving this valuable resource must be equitable to our development partners, investors, and the host government and its people.”

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Morobe To Focus On Developing Small Scale Mining

Jerry Sefe | Post Courier | September 24, 2019

Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu has set the course for the Morobe Provincial Government and its administration to focus on building small scale mining in Morobe Province.

Mr Saonu when attending a small scale mining consultation workshop in Lae said he would direct the Morobe provincial government (MPG) and the administration (MPA) to assist miners at the end of October 2019.

“We will also table crucial agenda on the developing small scale mining in Morobe Province through Provincial Executives Councils (PEC) together with the 2020 Provincial budget presentation in December as well,” said Saonu.

He said it has always been his dream and desire before he became a politician to create opportunities for small scale mining that are properly developed into a sustainable and robust business income stream for small scale miners.

He said successful millionaires in alluvial mining were on the rise because they were taught to use improved small-scale mechanized alluvial mining techniques, supported by respective government agents and the list goes on.

“I want to see the same for all small scale miners in Morobe become somebody living and enjoying luxury lives.

“I expect a provincial policy, strategies and better management approaches to support our small scale miners.

“As far as I am concerned MPG is committed to support small scale miners in any capacity to make them become successful and this must start this year” Saonu said.

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