Tag Archives: PNG development

PNGEITI Welcomes Decision On Tax Credit Scheme

Post Courier | February 1, 2018

The Papua New Guinea Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (PNGEITI) has welcomed the government’s decision to put on hold Tax Credit Scheme (TCS).
Prime Minster Peter O’Neill told business leaders some companies failed to execute TCS properly.
Mr O’Neill said the government decided to put a stop to it, because there is a transparency issue with the process.
Head of PNGEITI National Secretariat Lucas Alkan when concurring with the idea that the TCS is a best public private partnership (PPP), said the opaque nature of the scheme had to be addressed by reviewing the processes involved in awarding tax credit to companies.
Mr Alkan said successive EITI reports have found discrepancies in the reporting of the tax value foregone and it was timely that the government looks into it to take remedial actions.
“We welcome the decision of the Government to put on hold TCS projects as EITI reports affirm the observation that there is lack of transparency and accountability in this scheme.
“The process needs to be more transparent -particularly the guidelines and the criteria involved in the approval process.
The ITC expenditure should be included in the annual national budget books and the Department of National Planning and Monitoring (DNPM), should be able to show this information,” he said.
Mr Alkan said the PNGEITI Report for 2016 fiscal year published recently included the ITC as one of the recommendations for the government to increase transparency and accountability regarding the approval process by DNPM, expended on projects by companies and resulting tax payments offset by the IRC. “We trust the national government will address the opaque nature of this scheme so that original intent of TCS is maintained. “We applaud the Prime Minister for the insight and look forward to a review of the TCS,” he said.

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Bougainville clans regain power over mining rights

Bougainville Finance Minister Robin Wilson

The National aka The Loggers Times | January 12, 2018

Bougainville landowners own all the resources on their land and the Bougainville government only facilitates resource development, says Bougainville Finance Minister Robin Wilson, pictured.

“Unlike the rest of Papua New Guinea, landowners in Bougainville have the power to allow or disallow exploration and extraction of minerals on their land,” he said.

Wilson was speaking when handing the province’s 2018 Budget of K254 million to national Treasurer Charles Able in Port Moresby yesterday.

Wilson said Bougainville has lifted the ban on mining in Panguna, Mt Tore and Isinai and mining activities in those areas are now being driven by the landowners.

“We introduced a law that is unique to the rest of the country where in terms of mining we have made the landowners the owners of resources,” he said.

“If there are resources in an area the landowner will give consent on, whether or not exploration will take place and if exploration has found minerals, the landowner will again give consent to whether it will be extracted or not.”

In regard to the PNG Mining Act, Able said the Act states that any resources below six feet (about 2m) under the earth belongs to the government, but the ABG has done away with that provision – only for Bougainville.

Abel said the PNG government’s ownership of mining resources was to ensure that profits were equally distributed throughout the country.

Meanwhile, to continue to strengthen relations between Bougainville and the Papua New Guinea government, Wilson is providing quarterly reports to the government on how money it provides is spent on Bougainville.

“The accountability of the grants will not be an issue anymore. I have provided those reports throughout last year and am committed to do it in this term,” he said.

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Call to have equal sharing of benefits from resources owned

Jack Lapauve Jnr. | EMTV | 7 January, 2018

The President of Resource Owners Federation PNG is urging the National Government to be a firm regulator in the Mining, Gas and Oil sector.

Jonathan Paraia said resource owners in the country have been pushed to the side by the Government in many of the projects.

He said if the Government takes centre stage, resource owners around the country will continue their struggle to claim benefits.

According to a report by Mineral Resource Authority, almost more than half of Papua New Guinea’s income comes from the Oil, Gas and Mining sector [false!].

And with more explorations around the country, there is opportunity to pass the current rate. But the President of the Resource Owners Federation said there is no real benefit for resource owners.

Mr Paraia [sic] the Government must not interfere, but embrace resource owners for equal sharing of benefits.

Mr. Paraia believes benefits of the resources the country boasts about is not equally shared among the key stakeholders.

He said it is time the Government thinks of its people and provides that ownership platform to resource owners.

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LNG Landowners Believe They Were ‘Robbed’

Photo: Michael Nagle

Landowners continue to become spectators on their own land while their resources continue to be exploited

Post Courier | January 5, 2018

There is nothing to show for in the PNG LNG impacted areas with the Government continuously misleading the people and promising better benefits as captured in the PNG LNG agreement of 2009.

Since the agreements were signed in Kokopo in 2009, and the first shipment of the prophetic Gigira Laitapo gas left the shore of PNG in 2014, more than 300 shipments have been made, generating millions of kina for the developers, its partners and the Government, yet the upstream landowners have yet to benefit.

Hiwa landowner chief Max Ekeya said the upstream landowners have been misled by the state and several landowner leaders.

He said landowners continue to become spectators on their own land while their resources continue to be exploited.

Mr Ekeya said the situation continues and it is sad and sickening, a daylight robbery to (them) the landowners, when they cannot see any cash follow in their communities and within the impacted project areas.

“We at the corridors of Hides PDL1, contributing about 37 per cent of the gas and where most of the Well Heads are located have nothing to show for in terms of development.

“The Nogoli police station is run down, tribal fights everywhere within the vicinity of the project area, killings happening regularly. We need to upgrade the police station,” Mr Ekeya said.

He said the Yuni Community School was supposed to be upgraded to high school level but didn’t eventuate.

“The fulfillment of promissory notes by MRDC and KPHL to convert Yuni training centre to technical college by 2017 with the first intakes but is yet to come in place.

Mr Ekeya raised concerns on the bad road conditions, along the Komo-Margarima Koroba-Kopiago and Tari Pori electorates.

“Why isn’t this happening while the country and the world is feeding on Hela gas?

“We see PNG Power and some local contractors trying to erect power lines out of Hides and supply power to Hela people, support should be given,” Mr Ekeya said.

He said the main problem we have with the landowners was with too many chiefs and leader.

“The Hides landowners have a common problem of not having a solid group to address concerns in unity to achieve a result.

“We have a situation where we have differences among ourselves, when we are divided the government and the developer are not interested to hear our concerns.”

He said the landowners were faced with tough economic conditions and our people are pressured over school fees and other daily necessities.

The conerned leader has called for te government to give priority on clan vetting and ILG to be completed, so landowners can benefit through the payment of royalties to sustain their livlihood.

Mr Ekeya called on the landowner leaders to prioritise government expenditure of K35 million as project security to address law and order, pay compensation-related killings in the project areas and empower the local leaders and policemen to provide peace among the people.

“All Hiwas should unite with the Hides Hiwa Block Landowners Association to raise our concerns.

“I appeal to our leaders to provide good leadership to make way for clan vetting to be done,” Mr Ekeya said.

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EITI releases 2016 Report

Cedric Patjole | Loop PNG | December 23, 2017

The PNG Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) has released its 2016 Report.

This is the fourth report by the entity since joining the global EITI standards movement.

In his forward in the report, Treasurer Charles Abel said the 2016 Financial Year Report is the culmination of continued commitment, collaboration and efforts by the Government, extractive industries and civil society organisations to provide a comprehensive picture of the sector, its impact on the economy and our management of the revenues and benefits derived.

He said the 2016 Report is important in that it will form the basis of an external review and assessment for PNG’s EITI membership validation in 2018.

“The EITI process can also help improve current policy settings, the taxation and fiscal regime governing the extractives sector,” he stated.

“It demands Government to adhere to global best practices in the sector by increasing transparency and accountability of extractive revenues. It also demands the highest levels of transparency in the collection and distribution of revenues by the Government.

“I encourage the public to read the contents of the report and use it as a basis for stimulating further discussions on the management of the sector,” said Abel.

“Though PNG remains one of the most challenging countries to invest in geographically, it is amongst the most geologically attractive countries in the world.

“While global commodity prices have remained subdued in the last couple of years, developers of a number of proposed projects in PNG have remained committed and proceeded with several major mines set to come on stream in the near future.

“With promising signs of global commodity prices recovering, both developers, Government and our people stand to gain from the operation of these projects.

“The Government values the EITI process because it is playing a critical role in providing such reports to the public for them to better understand how we are managing the revenues and other benefits derived from the sector.”

Abel reassures investors that PNG is committed to transparency and accountability to achieve better outcomes for our development aspirations.

The PNG EITI aims to promote revenue transparency and accountability in the country’s mining and petroleum sectors.

This report covers the calendar year from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2016.

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Call to Improve Dialogue Between Resource Owners and Stakeholders

Government urged not to renew the Porgera Special Mining Lease Agreement

Jack Lapauve Jnr. | EMTV | 14 December 2017 

President of Resource Owners Federation PNG is calling for an equal playing field between mining operators and resource owners.

President Jonathan Paraia told EMTV News, too many agreements or understandings are signed but 90 percent of that is not achieved.

Mr Paraia said the government and mining operators must consider the issues presented by resource owners. He says Resource Owners Federation of PNG has kept a tight lip over the years.

With more complaints raised by resource owners around the country, he says, the government and mining giants must pay equal consideration.

In the past 10 years, Papua New Guinea has seen a rise in explorations in the Oil, Gas and Mining sector. More explorations are ongoing with new mines and project sites identified.

Mr Paraia says if all stakeholders are given the attention needed, the standard of living including goods and services will improve very much in many communities where mining or oil and gas projects are in operation.

Meanwhile, he has urged the National Government not to renew the Porgera Special Mining Lease Agreement.

Mr Paraia says landowners demand an investigation into the issuing of water permits by the mining operator. Landowners say severe damages were done but remain unreported.

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Women as change makers in Papua New Guinea

Alluvial miner on the Watut river

Immaculate Javia* | Earthworks | December 11, 2017

Women around the world have been applauded for breakthroughs in male dominated fronts and for fighting for gender equity. Yet there are others who silently occupy male dominated settings, performing tasks executed by men while also fulfilling their own responsibilities as a woman, as a mother, and as a sister.

Immaculate with a group of miners

In the small-scale mining industry and beyond, women have not been adequately recognized, appreciated and supported for their contribution to economic development as their male counterparts, husbands, sons and brothers. For generations, they have been subjects of abuse, mistreatment, and unfairness, yet they have stood tall in order to make a change in their family circles.

I live in a community where much of the artisanal small-scale gold mining activity in Papua New Guinea (PNG) is concentrated. For the past 7 years, I have trained small scale miners around the country. As the only female professional in this industry, I feel I have a responsibility to represent women miners in PNG, to improve their mining activities and to help address the problems they face.

Women small-scale miners make up 40% of a population of one hundred thousand artisanal small-scale miners in PNG, and 15 million artisanal small-scale miners around the world. Women are a significant portion of the overall workforce and therefore deserve special attention from concerned governments. Even more importantly, female small-scale miners are essential to achieve a more environmentally responsible small-scale mining industry in PNG.

Although under recognized on the national and global fronts for their contributions, women have been important players in a male dominated, male oriented and in a highly controversial industry. These women, many of whom are illiterate, have a special and a very powerful, albeit tiny place of recognition and respect among their male folk.

While small-scale mining supports female miners and the livelihood of many rural communities, the consequences and destruction, often caused by men who have an upper hand, also greatly affect them. Women and children fall victims to:

  • Health and Safety Issues – They are exposed to dangerous and hazardous working environments and conditions such as landslides, floods, waterborne diseases, theft and harassments in work places. They are subjected to using contaminated water from large scale mine effluents, lubricants and mercury from small operations, silt and sediment filled rivers and destroyed water. Sources, which gives rise to water borne diseases like diarrhea, dysentery, cholera, skin diseases, and many others.
  • HIV/AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Illnesses – Many women fall victims of HIV/AIDS after their husbands contract it. Usually men go into town and cities looking for good markets and end up using money from the gold for illicit activities. Women are always at home fending for their children and often miss out on the benefits of their hard work.
  • Environmental Destruction – Many women walk distances to fetch water, collect firewood or make gardens because of environmental destruction. Many lose homes to landslide, floods, or conflicts over land. Clean water sources are impacted and access to services are denied because public infrastructure such as bridges and roads are destroyed. Women have less opportunity and influence when it comes to speaking out against the destruction of water sources or nearby forests.
  • Women have limited access to capacity building programs because of their illiteracy rates. There is no tailored training to suit many of these illiterate women miners.

Women endure a great deal of negativity in this sector yet they provide for their families and in the process and generate millions in revenue for the government. It is beyond human comprehension that any sane government would deliberately ignore a very significant and important player of economic development.

We believe that women can transform the artisanal small-scale mining industry into a more responsible and environmentally friendly industry. Through a legal framework to regulate the small-scale artisanal mining sector, women will harness their power and voice to advocate for environmental improvements and to encourage change amongst their male relatives. 

It is high time that governments develop specific legal frameworks to give space for women miners to voice the issues affecting them and to be compensated for their tireless contributions to revenue generation from mining activities, often earned at the expenses of their health and families. 

* Immaculate Javia, IREX Community Solutions Program Fellow from Papua New Guinea. Immaculate works to train and empower and women small scale miners in her home country. She has spent the last four months working with Earthworks in our Washington D.C. office. 

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