Tag Archives: Tolukuma mine

Government nets next to nothing from Tolukuma mine sale

The government sold the Tolukuma gold mine to a Singapore company, Asidokona, in 2015, for a reported price of K81.35 million. However, Mine Watch can reveal, the government has only ever received K700,000.

Despite Petromin’s claims Asidokona would invest heavily in the mine infrastructure, a new road and restart production, the whole deal looked dodgy from the very start.

Then Mining Minister, Byron Chan, described Asidokona as “reputable, committed” but  Asidokona is not a mining company, it is a front for Singaporean speculator, Philip Soh Sai Kiang     .

In 2016 Mine Watch revealed that Asidokona was trying to offload the mine for US$ 212 million to a Singapore nightclub company, LifeBrandz. That deal fell through.

All the while the government has been trying to convince landowners that mining will soon recommence and they will benefit handsomely from a new royalties deal as well as the 10% shareholding agreed as part of the 2015 sale.

This was tantamount to bare faced lying by the government, as officials must have known all along that Asidokona had no intention of restarting mining and, indeed, has only ever paid a tiny proportion of the sale price.

According to an audited financial report for Kumul Minerals Holdings Limited, the successor to Petromin, the sale of Tolukuma was completed on 30 November 2015, not for the reported price of K81.35 million, but K26 million.

Even worse, only K700,000 has ever been received and the balance of K25.3 million is still outstanding.

Apparently the buyer, Asidokona, was due to pay a further K16 million on before 31 December, 2016, but never paid. A further K2 million was to be settled by 31 December 2017 and K1.4 million by 31 December 2018.

According to the directors of Kumul Minerals “recovery of the outstanding sales proceeds is considered doubtful” and the debt has been written off.

To cap the sorry saga, Tolukuma Gold Mines has now been liquidated for non payment of its debts.

The Tolukuma landowners have every right to feel they have been betrayed and deceived by government authorities.

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Tolukuma mine liquidated

“Asidokona Mining Resources is reputable, committed, has integrity, and capacity” said then Mining Minister, Byron Chan when the government sold the mine in 2015

Who in the Mineral Resource Authority is going to take responsibility for this monumental mess?

SEE ALSO

Tolukuma mine purchased by Asian finance company with no mining experience

More farce over government’s botched sale of Tolukuma mine

Tolukuma future looks bleak, despite MRA spin

Post Courier | February 13, 2018

One of Papua New Guinea’s gold mines, Tolukuma, was liquidated last week after a service provider took them to court for non-payment of bills totaling US$233,844 last year.

The National Court ordered on February 08, 2018, that:

  • Tolukuma Gold Mines Limited is placed into liquidation by this Court under the provisions of the Companies Act on the ground that it just and equitable that the company be placed into liquidation.
  • Andrew Pini of Pini Accountants and Advisors is appointed to act as liquidator of Tolukuma Gold Mines Limited.
  • Tolukuma Gold Mines Limited is to pay Hevi Lift Limited and IPI Catering Limited’s costs of and incidental to the proceeding.
  • The time of the entry of these orders is abridged to the date of settlement by the Registrar which shall take place forthwith.

Liquidator Andrew Pini confirmed yesterday that the National Court last Thursday appointed his accounting firm to take on the liquidation process effective immediately.

Hevi Lift took the matter to court in October 2017 for their outstanding of US$233,844 owing since June last year. Two other companies, 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.

“I don’t know exactly how much they owe the creditors or service providers, what I intend to do immediately is make an assessment of the real debt figure and then will put out a report,” Mr Pini said yesterday.

“I will visit the mine to start our process of liquidation, but for now I have come up with directions on how we can immediately start. I have put out public statements to all creditors of the company to come and lodge their claims using the prescribed claim Form 43 of Schedule 1 of the Companies Regulations 1998.

“In accordance with Regulations 21 and 22 creditors of the company are required to lodge their claims by 5pm Wednesday March 14, 2018. After this, then I will ascertain the real debt figure for the mine.”

A Singapore-based Asidokona Mining Resources, a private company, bought the Tolukuma gold mine in Central Province for K81.35 million to recapitalise and eventually restart it. They took over from Petromin in 2015.

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Court reinstates case of Tolukuma mine spill

Christopher Yowat | The National aka The Loggers Times | February 13, 2018

THE Supreme Court has reinstated a case filed against the Tolukuma Gold Mine Limited over the alleged spillage of sodium cyanide into rivers in Golilala district, Central, 18 years ago.

The case was filed by James Gabe and others in 2006. it claims that more than K1 million in damages from the mining company was dismissed by the National Court in April, 2014. Gabe then applied to the Supreme Court to review the decision by Justice Sir Bernard Sakora.

The three-man Supreme Court bench of judges David Cannings, Ere Kariko and Jeffery Shepherd, granted the orders sought by Gabe – that the dismissal of the case by the National Court on April 9, 2014, be quashed and that the matter be reinstated.

Justice Sir Bernard had dismissed the proceedings after he had been satisfied that Gabe and the other plaintiffs were guilty of an inordinate delay in prosecuting the case and that there had been no proper explanation for it.

Gabe argued that the decision to dismiss the case was made on an “erroneous factual basis”.

Justice Cannings, on behalf of the Supreme Court panel, said:

“We consider, with respect, that if his honour had closely analysed the events that took place in the six-month period between the failed mediation (in April 2013) and the filing of the respondent’s motion for dismissal (in October 2013), his honour would have formed a different view as to the satisfactoriness of the applicant’s explanation for the delay.”

See also: Disgraced judge Bernard Sakora resigns in latest move to avoid justice

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MP Samb defends Asidokona failure

Samb clears air on mining delay

The National aka The Loggers Times | November 15, 2017 

THE operator of the Tolukuma Gold Mine Limited in Central has been delaying operations for the past two years because a business partner was pulling out, according to Goilala MP William Samb.
He said the Asidokona Mining Resources Pty Limited was to have restarted the mine which Central was a shareholder in.
In a statement, Samb said the delay had caused inconvenience to the company management in settling outstanding salaries of employees and resuming the operations at the mine.
The Tolukuma Gold Mine Limited is under care maintenance.
This was revealed during a recent meeting Samb had with Asidokona’s executive director Vincent Siow who confirmed the challenges.
Samb said a stakeholders’ meeting to be held this month will be to revise the agreement. They will discuss the production phase, scale of the mine, construction of the road from Doa to Tolukuma, establishment of the infrastructure development committee, and proper landowner business plans.
“Siow has assured that Asidokona is here to stay and continue with operation of the mine despite the few challenges,” Samb said.
“One of those will be to build a road linking Tolukuma to Port Moresby so it can cut back on the high operational costs.”

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Locals threaten to shut down Tolukuma mine

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Cedric Patjole | PNG Loop | November 11, 2017

Landowners of the Tolukuma Mine in Goilala District, Central Province, have issued an ultimatum to the Government to withdraw the mining lease from operators, Asidokona, or they will shut down the mine.

Chairman of the Yulai Landowner Group, George Gusi, announced on his Facebook profile yesterday that a seven-day ultimatum was given, which lapses on Monday, November 20.

Gusi stated that the current operator was not capable of operating the mine and called for its withdrawal and for another operator to invest in the mine.

“I have given 7 days’ ultimatum for the government to withdraw the mining licence from Asidokona Mining Resources Ltd.

“The rationale behind this? Asidokona has no capacity to operate a mine.” He alleges the operator lacks financial capacity as well as expertise.

“I am taking this bold action to rescue my suffering landowners to make way for a potential investor to come in and invest on our land,” said Gusi.

“MRA and other concerned authorities must come out clear and provide clear explanation on this issue. “I have already woken up from my long sleep now so I will continue to pursue until I achieve what I want.

“My appeal to all those relevant authorities to be patriotic to our country, our people and take our people’s issues/concerns at heart in ensuring that any decisions made are there to serve the best interest of our people,” he added.

When contacted by Loop PNG, Gusi claims formal notices have been issued to the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA), Mining Minister Johnston Tuke and other stakeholders.

He said if a favourable response is not received by the due date, they will shut down the mine.

In June this year Gusi snubbed the signing of the Tolukuma Mine memorandum of agreement (MOA), citing unmet outstanding issues.

Despite Asidokona being granted the mining licence, return to production has been problematic. Last month the MRA stated that tenement, regulatory and funding issues have stalled production.

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Mining industry to extract K11 billion from PNG in 2017

K11 billion mining revenue for 2017
Cedric Patjole | PNG Loop | October 4, 2017

K11 billion in mineral revenue is expected to be generated from both large and small scale mining in 2017.

This is based on gures reported from January to August, according to the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA).

The MRA says this revenue is the result of continued overall increases in mineral commodity prices, production and ore exports.

In a statement, the MRA says the estimated K11 billion revenue represents an increase of 13.4 percent against 2016 mineral revenue, underpinning an ongoing upward trend in mineral receipts which will boost the economy.

Based on gures from operating mines in the country, major projects expect to surpass results from 2016.

Ok Tedi Mine forecasts indicate a 2017 end of year outturn of an additional K700 million, with revenue potentially exceeding K2.7 billion.

Lihir is also turning in another solid performance and revenue forecasts indicate an increase in 2016 of around K200 million, exceeding K3.7 billion for the full year.

Ramu operations still continue to suffer from regulatory and compliance issues, however 2017 production has improved and could exceed 2016’s disruptive year by K300 million.

Revenue from the newly re-opened Kainantu mine is estimated at over K8 million from the first two shipments. Unfortunately the mine suffered a significant setback with illegal damage caused by landowners and this will take some months to recover from.

Simberi mine continues to generate revenue despite moving towards closure next year, coincident with the expiry of their mining lease.

Porgera and the alluvial sector are maintaining reasonably steady positions, while Hidden Valley mine has entered its temporary closure phase. Loss of revenue during this period will hopefully be made up by Kainantu once they return to production.

The Tolukuma mine remains problematic as they struggle with tenement and regulatory issues as well as funding, all of which is hindering a return to production under new owners, Asidokona.

Crater Mountain mine is also a icted by nancial di culties with the failure of a capital raising, but it is hoped that the board and management changes will nally see some positive results from this small operation shortly.

The MRA says while gold still represents an ‘unhealthy’ 68.75 percent of PNG mineral revenue, this percentage has been whittled away by the increase in copper, nickel and cobalt providing that widening of the mineral base’.

The gold price has again uctuated wildly with a recent spike on the back of international tensions surrounding North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, hitting over $USD1340 early in September, only to have now dropped back below $USD1290.

Copper, nickel and cobalt have also continued to rise erratically in recent months with copper hitting a 52 week high of $USD3.13/lb in September.

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Tolukuma Mine Staff Want Salaries Paid

Post Courier | October 4, 2017

Aggrieved workers from the Tolukuma gold mine in Central Province converged on the Petromin building in Port Moresby yesterday to vent their frustrations over outstanding salaries owed to them by their employer.

More than 400 mine workers and their families are affected – an estimated 80 percent of them locals from Goilala and 20 percent from outside the mine area.

With bills mounting including rentals and school fees, loan repayments to make with the commercial and landlords and loansharks on their case, they say this was too much to take.

To add salt to the wound, the fact that they had been given the runaround by their management on the numerous trips made to their headquarters, with the answer: “check next week”.

Clearly irate and very aware that there could be ramifications if they went public with their grievances, they decided to bite the bullet.

Spokesperson, Tera Kalak, told reporters their request to the company was simple, to be paid what is rightfully owed to them, and in cash.

“Effectively, we are owed payments for eight fortnights. It was ten, but the company gave advances, and this was recouped from two payments they made.

“We have given service to the company, and all we are asking is for the company to honour their end of the bargain and pay us.

“The laws of our country state we must be paid fortnightly,” Mr Kalak said.

He had appealed not just to the National Government, but relevant state agencies including the Labour Department, to intervene on this matter.

He said failing that, the workers would have no other choice except to seek legal advise on this matter.

A management representative, in a brief email to the Post-Courier, had advised that the company is awaiting funds from its headoffice.

“The target date is tomorrow, October 4, 2017,” the manager said.

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