Tag Archives: PNG development

New Ireland refuses to sign Simberi MOA approved by NEC

State Solicitor’s office accused of dishonesty 

Sharon Lowa | Post Courier | May 22, 2017

The New Ireland provincial government has refused to sign the Simberi Gold Mine memorandum of agreement recently approved by the National Executive Council (NEC) in April.

Deputy governor and chairman for natural resources in the provincial executive council Ambrose Silul said they are sick and tired of being misled by the state team negotiating the new MoA for both Simberi and Lihir Gold Mines.

Mr Silul insists that the state keep its word, and until it does, the New Ireland government will not sign any new MoA.

The New Ireland team had been renegotiating the Simberi MoA for over four years and a provisional MoA had been agreed in 2013, but that it was conditional on approval by the PEC.

“Our team wrote to the state team and Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) on October 6, 2013 that the draft MoA must include the provisions approved by the New Ireland PEC on May 21, 2013.

“That includes increasing the rate of royalties from two percent (FOB) annual revenues to 10 percent, as well as similar increases in the special support grant and tax credit scheme,” Mr Silul said.

Mr Silul further stated that the state solicitor’s office agreed that the changes the New Ireland government wanted made to the MoA would be included in the draft to go to the NEC.

He said that in a meeting in April 2015 in Kavieng, the state solicitor agreed they would include New Ireland’s provisions in both the Lihir and Simberi MoAs and allow the NEC to make a final decision.

“All we are asking is that NEC – and not the state bureaucrats – decide on the merits of our suggestions. Instead, we have a bunch of bureaucrats making decisions that should be made by NEC.”

“We will not accept this dishonesty on the part of the state team,” Mr Silul said.

Mr Silul is calling on the mining minister to conduct an immediate investigation into this affair.

The MRA mining coordinators and the state solicitor’s office deliberately and willfully misled the NEC by submitting an MoA that did not include the provisions they promised would be included.

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Allegations of Human Rights Abuses at the Porgera Mine – Village Burning, Forced Eviction, Assault, Rape

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Seabed Mining Could Form Plumes: Dust Clouds Formed Within Sea

Piyali Roy | Science Times | 30 April 2017

Treasure troves of raw materials are laying on the sea floor and the abundance of these raw materials is driving the rise of deep sea mining, and hurling worries about the ecological effect. The sea covers 66 percent of our planet and offers significantly more potential in discovering profitable raw materials than the land.

According to HiTech Days, deep sea mining will also leave a mark on the planet Earth like any other type of mining. As per a statement from the managing director of Seascape Consultants, the biggest problem for the marine environment is the plumes. Plumes can destroy a part of underwater ecosystems or habitat to any type of marine creature.

What are plumes? How are they formed? Plumes are the dust clouds which are formed within the sea and are hung suspended in the water. The dust particles in the plumes can cause harm to the marine environment as they may also contain some kind of toxic chemicals in it. Mainly, deep sea mining can cause plumes to be formed, that is the main issue arising.

After deep sea mining, plumes can spread over a bigger area of seabed causing harmful effects on the marine ecosystems. Phys.org reported that there can be other issues arising up after sea mining other than plume formation, such as loss of habitat over large areas. In light of this, the EU-financed MIDAS look into venture united industry and NGOs to analyze how best to deal with the impacts of deep sea mining.

The impacts of deep sea mining were evaluated by carrying out a plume modeling by the MIDAS. Their research affirmed the significance of compelling plumes to avoid critical harm to ecological systems. It’s a responsibility for the scientists to find a sustainable technological solution for effective deep sea mining which will have less negative impacts on the marine underwater ecosystems.

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Historic decision as Bougainville lifts mining moratorium

Anthony Kaybing | PNG Attitude | 1 May 2017

THE Autonomous Bougainville Government has made an historic decision by lifting the mining and exploration moratorium in the province.

ABG president John Momis made the announcement on Friday after the Bougainville Executive Council carefully considered the implications of developing the capacity of the government to manage exploration applications and the needs of the people of Bougainville.

The decision allows for applications in the areas of Tore, Isina and Jaba, places which have large ore deposits, and does not include Panguna.

Since the development of the Panguna mine more than 40 years ago the rest of Bougainville was been covered by a moratorium on further exploration.

In 2006 the ABG requested the PNG government to provide it with powers over mining, oil and gas, with an agreement being signed in 2008.

It took another seven years for the process to conclude and the ABG enacted its own Mining Act in 2015 paving the way for it to regulate its own mining sector.

“The Bougainville Constitution and the Bougainville Mining Act 2015 clearly define the people as the owners of all the minerals found on all the land in Bougainville,” President Momis said.

“It is important that the people’s consent must be given before any mine is developed under the Mining Act,” Dr Momis said.

He added that the Bougainville Mining Act gives the ABG the opportunity to preserve and reserve certain areas in Bougainville from mineral exploration and mining.

The Bougainville Executive Council has the final authority to grant mining licenses and it will scrutinise applicants thoroughly to ensure only genuine investors are granted licenses.

“We have learnt our lessons from the Panguna experience and now we have the opportunity to do a better job,” Dr Momis said.

“On behalf of the people of Bougainville I invite and welcome applications from prospective applicants to invest in our mining sector.

“Bougainville is open for business and I look forward to the development of long term economic partnerships to allow Bougainville to fulfil the economic potential she rightly deserves.”

The Bougainville Mining Registrar will start accepting applications from 10am Bougainville Standard Time on Tuesday 9 May.

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IRC raises tax concessions issue

Who is it persuades politicians to grant tax concessions without consulting relevant government departments?

Is it the mining companies directly influencing Ministers to make decisions against the national interest, disadvantaging ordinary people?

The National aka The Loggers Times | April 20, 2017

DECISIONS to grant tax concessions and incentives to resource projects should be made with the involvement of government entities and relevant organisations as well, an official says.

Internal Revenue Commission commissioner-general Betty Palaso told the meeting of department heads in Mendi, Southern Highlands yesterday that the Government should consider the other entities.

“An important factor that we can factor into preparations for the new parliament is how government deals with tax concessions and tax incentives, etc,” Palaso said.

“A lot of time, submissions go directly to Cabinet, approving certain tax concessions and incentives before coming to IRC, Department of Treasury or Papua New Guinea Customs. And we are then told to implement it.

“For example, LNG has a lot of tax incentives.

“Therefore, we have not been able to get revenue in terms of corporate income tax for a long time.

“And that is because decisions were made to allow these kind of incentives to large multi nationals.

“We have to seriously think about it. And then we have another developer in the same sector coming in to say we want the same concessions given to this particular developer given to us as well.”

Palaso said once that was done, it reduced the country’s revenue base.

“So when that is done again, the revenue base is much more reduced,” she said.

“Now we can see the impact of the reduction in the commodity prices which is now impacting on how much revenue is being generated and coming into the Government to date.”

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PNG needs to wean off reliance on minerals, says Micah

Papua New Guinea’ s parliament facade. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

Radio New Zealand | 11 April, 2017

A Papua New Guinea MP says the country needs a transformative type of government in order to fulfil its potential.

Ben Micah, the leader of the People’s Progress Party, said that government had become too reliant on income from the non-renewable sector.

PNG’s Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch, this month, warned that the government had spent beyond its means and had incurred a massive debt in recent years.

While PNG’s revenues have collapsed partly due to the global commodity price slump, Mr Micah said government could no longer rely on collecting income from the extractives sector.

He said PNG government had not invested enough in agriculture; allowed the country’s fishing industry to be controlled by foreigners, and has failed to tap into the country’s tourism potential.

“We cannot compare to Fiji and Vanuatu and smaller countries like Samoa and Cook Islands because we have not properly developed realistic policies on how to develop our tourism industry,” said Mr Micah, adding that PNG had massive tourism potential.

“We are the last frontier here in terms of the natural beauty of our country, our diverse traditions and culture.”

He said, however, that in order for PNG to realise this potential, it could not persist with a business-as-usual approach.

Mr Micah added that PNG’s government has been living beyond its means, and that spending had to be curtailed.

He said that if his party formed the next government, it would slash some public departments which merely duplicated functions of others.

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Radical change needed in Mining Act: Kua

Charles Yapumi | PNG Loop | April 10, 2017

The PNG National Party will amend the Mining and Petroleum Act to benefit the country if it is a member of the coalition government after the National Elections in June.

This was the statement by the party parliamentary leader, Kerenga Kua, when addressing their convention on Friday.     

Kua said the country is losing out on billions of Kina annually because of the current law governing the mining and petroleum industry.

“Economy of the country is underpinned by petroleum and mining,” he said.

“The current law states that the State owns all the resources under the ground, so investors, when they come, ask for petroleum licence.

“The first licence they get is an exploration licence, they do the exploration but the ownership still remains with the State.     

“When they make a commercial discovery, then they (investors) come to the government and ask for a development licence, and when government gives them the licence, the ownership of those resources which was owned by the State is now transferred 100 percent to the developer, free of charge.

“That is where the entire problem had been for all those years.

“The same law states that, once the licence and ownership is in the hands of the developer – in petroleum the state has to buy the 22.5 percent share from the developer and same with the mineral industry.

“We must stop that to have a radical change.

“We will introduce a law and system known as Productive Sharing and Equity Scheme. It means for petroleum, our share will be given at the well head. There will be a valve there that will measure the flow.

“For minerals, we will get our shares after the gold and copper are refined after cost of production is taken into account,” Kua said.

He added that this is a common practice internationally.

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