Tag Archives: PNG development

Tuke, Yama Want Fresh Deal For Ramu Mine

Politician’s love to make fancy promises – but do they ever actually deliver?

Post Courier | March 19, 2019

MINING Minister Johnson Tuke has said, before he signs any documents regarding the Ramu NiCo project, he needs to understand what is there for the landowners.

“When I understand and am really convinced then I will sign the agreement for the expansion, otherwise that will not happen,” Mr Tuke said.

He said he had discussed with Prime Minister Peter O’Neill the licence that government will issue for the expansion must be under a new agreement.

Mr Tuke said many mining companies usually say they will only give according to the MoA, however, there must be some form of kindness and humility when dealing with the local landowners whose land and water were given away for the project.

Madang Governor Peter Yama said the new expansion plan for the Ramu project will be properly discussed and he, as the head of the province, must be convinced that the people of Madang receive more benefits.

He said the old agreement that was signed before the construction and the operation of the Ramu Nickel Project must be done away with.

“The new agreement will be renegotiated, and the old agreement will be no more,”

He said that the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill during his visit to Usino had publicly announced that the new agreement will be a fresh start. Mr Yama said he is in full support of a new agreement for the Ramu NiCo Project, and stressed that all the parties that will be signing the agreement including the National Government, the provincial government, and the developer Ramu NiCo (MCC) must make sure the agreement provides better benefits to the people of Madang.

This is particularly for those from the impacted communities, the developer Ramu NiCo, Madang province, and the country.

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Don’t Listen To Aopi, Says Lower Porgera Association

Jerome Ikuavi | Post Courier | March 5, 2019

THE Lower Porgera Association Inc has thrown its support behind the Resource Owners Federation of PNG over a call by the Chamber of Mines and Petroleum president Gerea Aopi to the national government last week not to delay the renewal of the Porgera Special Mining Lease (SML).

Association chairman John Pokoli in a statement to the Mineral Resources Authority Chief Mining Warden stated that due to the continuous ignorance by the mining company, the group lodged its objection to the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) on September 24, 2018.

“Our objection was in regards to Barrick Porgera, a Canadian mining company, that has become a controversial mine over human rights abuse and environmental issues and the company has been operating in PNG with total impunity,” he claimed.

MRA Chief Warden Andrew Gunua while replying to the objection by the association advised that the objection will be compiled with the warden hearing report which will be forwarded to the Mining Advisory Council (MAC) for its consideration in determining the grant or refusal of the application.

Mr Pokoli said that the association had submitted its claims for environmental damages as per the Ministerial Determination (MD) to the Barrick Porgera including the head office in Canada, Barrick Corporation chairman and the government however has not received any response from the respective authorities to date.

He said the association advised the government not to listen to the Mr Aopi because he does not come from the mining area and has not felt the environmental impact.

“We call on Gerea Aopi to advice Barrick to adhere to set laws of this country,” Pokoli said.

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And they call it Development!

More GOLD Less HARMONY via Facebook

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Porgera children ‘a generation without education’

Carmella Gware | Loop PNG | February 23, 2019

While the Porgera Gold Mine has been in operation since 1990, locals claim they are yet to experience tangible benefits.

The Justice Foundation for Porgera is campaigning against the renewal of the mine’s licence, claiming obvious breaches in agreement by Porgera Joint Venture.

The Justice Foundation for Porgera labeled local children “a generation without education”.

The Foundation said over the years, the mine had done catastrophic damages to the people and the environment, but the company and the government had failed to address those issues.

It was claimed that while there are over 4,000 children in the Special Mining Lease area, none of them go to school.

The Foundation blames Porgera Joint Venture for destroying the only school in the area – the Apalaka Community School – with mine tailings.

“The Porgera landowners gave up their land in exchange for benefits, such as education,” said the Foundation.

“The Porgera Gold Mine has two massive waste dumps: Anawe and Anjoleke. The Anjoleke waste dump acted like a slow-moving rock avalanche. In 2007 it swallowed up the only school in the SML area – the Apalaka Community School.”

Locals say PJV promised to rebuild it 10 years ago, and they are still waiting.

In response, PJV says it is now in the process of identifying an ideal location for the re-establishment of the Apalaka Community School in Enga Province.

“Continuous community issues together with the increasing lawlessness in the area had prevented PJV from re- establishing the school more than two years ago,” PJV responded to Loop PNG.

“The school, initially at Apalaka village within the Special Mine Lease area, was relocated to Yarik village due to unstable ground movements at its initial location.

“Then at Yarik, also within the SML, continuous rain in the area caused a sinkhole at PJV’s underground portal, following which the remedial works had further prevented the normal operation of the relocated school.

“PJV understands that since then students have been attending schools at the nearby Mungulep and Porgera station, as well as to other areas.

“There have been 18 schools in Porgera that PJV has had some engagement through community development projects over the years. Of these, there are at least 14 government-run schools ranging from the elementary level to the secondary school.

“PJV understands that there are more than 18 schools in Porgera valley.

“Over the years, PJV has spent over K51 million on school infrastructure and resources through the Government-owned Tax Credit Scheme (TCS) in Enga Province. Of this, over K13 million has been for schools within the Porgera and Paiela areas.”

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Barrick offering 50% profit share in Tanzania

Will Barrick be offering PNG 50% of the profits from its Porgera mine?

New found resource nationalism may create complications for Barrick’s Bristow in PNG

Mining MX | February 21, 2019

A PROPOSED transaction in which Barrick Gold could share profits from its Acacia Mining with the Tanzanian government on a 50/50 basis could have ramifications for the Toronto-headquartered group in other mining districts, said Bloomberg News.

The newswire said that efforts by Barrick Gold to extend its mining licence agreement with the government of Papua New Guinea over the Porgera asset might be complication if that government sought to replicate the deal in Tanzania.

Mark Bristow, CEO of Barrick Gold, has suggested that the company might not divest of Porgera as the company previously suggested. He has also reached out to the new president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Felix Tshisekedi, in the hope he’ll consider a review of the recently promulgated mining code.

All of these events might, therefore, by influenced by the outcome of the dispute with Tanzania which is where the offer to share the spoils of Acacia Mining comes from. Acacia, 63.9%-owned by Barrick Gold, has been in dispute with the Tanzanian government over unproved allegations it owes $190bn in unpaid tax dating back some two decades (including penalties and interest).

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Barrick must be accountable for environment destruction

We pray that Barrick is held to account for the misery, pain and loss our people suffered

David Mandi | Post Courier | 21 February 2019

The Porgera River Alluvial Miners Association is responding to an article in Tuesday’s edition of the Post-Courier titled ‘Barrick confirms continuing commitment to PNG Government and Porgera community, which was reportedly released by the new president and chief executive officer of Barrick, Mark Bristow.

First, we confirm our support and commend the Prime Minister, Hon Peter O’Neill’s bold announcement recently that there will be no automatic renewal of the Porgera special mining lease (SML) once it expires in August this year. The Prime Minister’s announcement is surely the best news in decades (30 years) for the poor and illiterate indigenous alluvial miners living along the Porgera river, who had been suppressed and marginalised by the world’s mining powers including Barrick.

Secondly, our response to Barrick’s press release follows.

Barrick has deliberately failed to maintain a positive relationship with us (affected people) in the past, while being fully aware that their operations were physically and economically displacing more than 10,000 people of the Porgera river through their continuous discharge of mine waste (more than 1.5 billion cubic meters per year) directly into the Porgera River system.

Further, to date, Barrick has intentionally failed to pay us compensation award made in our favour through the 1996 Ministerial Determination (“1996 MOil) to settle the six year (1990-1995) compensation dispute.

Thus, Barrick has been illegally discharging waste using a flawed Environment Permit number WD-L3 (121).

We pray that Barrick is held to account for the misery, pain and loss our people suffered.

Thus, Barrick’s continuous presence in Porgera is detrimental to the health, welfare and safety of the Porgera river alluvial miners.

And we will continue to vigorously oppose and protest to Barrick’s application to renew the Porgera SML and Exploration Licences 454 and 858.

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Mining industry spooked as PNG wakes up to lack of benefits and hidden costs

The Mining Industry is suddenly on the back foot as PNG wakes up to the fact its extractive industries have failed to deliver the promised economic benefits while destroying communities and the environment. In trying to respond to the growing anger and resentment, the industry is continuing to spin the same old lies and misinformation…

Mining lease uncertainty in Papua New Guinea

Mining Review Africa | February 15, 2019 

The Papua New Guinea Chamber of Mines and Petroleum says the continued success of existing projects and the development of new ones is critical for the future of the country.

And that any significant delay in the renewal and extension of mining licences for the country’s biggest producing mines would have a detrimental effect on the nation’s economy.

Chamber President, Gerea Aopi CBE, comments following reports that projects such as Porgera, Ok Tedi and Ramu Nickel may not have their leases extended.

“Security of tenure and continuation of mining leases is essential if we want investors to spend billions of Kina in our country,” says Aopi. 

“Delays and uncertainty about mining leases could cause major interruptions to some of the big mines, and discourage any new investors.”

Aopi explains the Chamber and its members are keen to work with Government to ensure that Papua New Guinea’s investment climate for resource projects remains attractive as this will underwrite a strong growing economy and increased prosperity for the people.

Aopi says the industry is concerned that mineral exploration activity in Papua New Guinea has fallen significantly in the past six years even though global exploration has experienced a significant upturn since 2016.

With this decline in exploration, any uncertainty about renewal of mining licences would have an impact on the country’s economy, and also send international investors the wrong signal, particularly at a time when the World Bank through its Papua New Guinea Economic Update released this month projected a positive rebound in the country’s real Gross Domestic Product to 5% this year on the back of upcoming major resource projects.

According to data supplied by the Mineral Resources Authority, mineral exploration expenditure in 2018 was K295.9 million compared to K339 million in 2017, K373 million in 2016 and K358 million in 2015.

The last time mineral exploration expenditure reached its peak was reached in 2013 when it was K596 million.

While certainty of mining leases is critical, Aopi says all Chamber members are committed to ensuring that benefits flow from their operations to local communities and he applauds the Government’s continuing commitment to ensuring the sustainable and accountable sharing of benefits.

“The industry remains ready and willing to work with Government and relevant authorities to ensure a fair distribution of benefits for the State, local communities and the industry,” he states.

“Papua New Guinea is one of the first countries in the world where mining and petroleum projects consistently provide socio-economic opportunities to the local areas they operate in.

“Projects have opened up access and opportunities in some of the most isolated rural communities in Papua New Guinea ,” he explains.

In 2017, the mineral and petroleum resources sectors contributed over 26% of PNG’s GDP and about 84% of the nation’s export revenue valued at K23 billion.

The major producing mines, Ok Tedi contributed to Papua New Guinea’s mineral export revenues in 2017 over K3.1 billion while Porgera contributed over K1.8 billion, Ramu Nickel over K1.1 billion, and Lihir over K3.6 billion (FY18).

According to the 2017 Papua New Guinea Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative report, the industry paid a total of K1.5 billion in direct and indirect taxes.

The mining and petroleum industry directly employs over 20,000 people, with significantly more working in other sectors dependent on the industry, including landowner businesses.

The industry invests millions of Kina in community development in sectors such as health and education, infrastructure including roads and airstrips, employment and training, and agriculture and livelihood programs. 

The industry also establishes and supports landowner companies and other Papua New Guinea -based businesses that provide services to the project sites such as transportation, labour hire, catering, security, earthmoving, freight and logistics, janitorial services, agriculture, and livestock and livelihood programs to promote food security and agribusiness.

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