Tag Archives: Wafi-Golpu

Govt not learning from experience

Freddy Gigmai | Post Courier | February 8, 2019

The current government along with its responsible agencies are still not learning from the damaging experiences of mining activities in the country.

The experiences of Panguna, Ok Tedi, Tolukuma, and others are all there for the responsible authorities to learn and do things properly. The environmental pollution and damages caused by these mines have exceeded the monetary and other benefits put together.

The evidence are overwhelming but the government is still somewhat ignorant thus placing short term revenue gains ahead of long term gains and sustainability and dependence of our small people on the natural resources such as river systems, forests, seas, etc.

The recent MoU signed by the O’Neill government with the developers of the multi-billion kina Wafi-Golpu mining project in Morobe province is another clear indication that it does not care about the local peoples welfare and long term survival.

The Morobe Governor and Huon Gulf MP Ross Seymour with the concerned landowners must be commended for voicing their concerns against the signed MoU.

The MoU is rushed and is sinister because there is no clear indication of the where the mine tailings will be properly stored and disposed. At present, it is apparent that the tailings will no doubt be dumped into the sea on the Morobe coast. The environmental damages that the tailings disposal pose are unimaginable.

Although Bulolo MP and Energy Minister Sam Basil and former Morobe Governor Kelly Naru have said that the MoU is only a guide to pave the way forward, the concerns of the Morobe people and leaders who will be directly affected must be respected and considered.

It is very surprising to see the minister responsible for mining and Kainantu MP Johnson Tuke silent on this very important issue.

Also on a close look of the electoral boundaries, eighty percent of the Wafi-Golpu project is in the Huon Gulf electorate and not in Bulolo-Wau so

Basil’s heavy involvement and not Ross Seymour as the Huon Gulf MP with Governor Saonu is a concern as well.

The natural resources and assets of this country must not be taken for a ride by a few privileged individuals. The MPs are voted into parliament to make decisions in the best interest of the people as their first priority and not for themselves and the developers who after all are short terms profit-oriented visitors who only care to bring the best returns to their shareholders only.

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MP warns govt not to take people for granted

MP calls for Wafi-Golpu ‘value proposition’

Cedric Patjole | PNG Loop | February 7, 2019

The Huon MP has called on the Government to tell the people of Morobe and PNG the true value proposition of the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding with the Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture.

Ross Seymour says the Province and its people have always supported the growth and development agenda of the country and economy, but they should not be taken for granted.

In a statement, the Huon MP said they need to know that the State is putting their interests first.

Seymour said: “History shows that Morobe Province and the people of Morobe have always been at the forefront of progressing development of Papua New Guinea well before the birth of our new united country in 1975 to the present day.

“Morobe’s economic contributions began shortly after it was settled in the late 1800s, first by the Germans then later as a British colony under the Australian Administration. Morobe people through their toils had set the foundations for the journey towards nationhood. Yet in those early years, despite their efforts, they remained uninformed onlookers.

“In the 1920s and ‘30s, the Wau and Bulolo minefields had also made many in both Australia and the new protectorate of Papua and New Guinea prosperous and wealthy, but not the people of Morobe. Perhaps it is time to recognise our sacrifice and our efforts, and give back to the people of Morobe what is fair and equitable, and not least to the people of Huon, Bulolo and Lae.

Seymour added: “Todaywe shall be impacted again by another mega-mining project, but today we do not suffer from ignorance or a lack of knowledge and awareness of the economic, social and commercial value of the Wafi-Golpu mining project and not least its environmental impacts.”

He said as of today, they refuse to be bystanders and uninformed onlookers.

Seymour claims the State and the corporate bodies have already agreed to a 51 percent / 49 percent free cashflow split, and they expect that the benefits accrued from the mining project is extensively redistributed to the rest of PNG.

“So from within Papua New Guinea’s share as guaranteed by this current legislation what is my people’s fair and equitable value proposition?

“As I understand it, the Mining Act precipitates a negotiation process and an outcome thereafter and this can only happen and be determined in a negotiated process during a development forum and secured under an MOA which has not yet been concluded!

“As stakeholders in the development forum process I ask the National Government to be absolutely transparent in its dealings with my people as never again shall we end up with empty pockets, deprived of economic and commercial empowerment!”

Seymour impresses upon the Prime Minister and Ministers Johnson Tuke and Sam Basil to inform the public of the true value proposition of the MOU as opposed to what would have been if they had merely employed the existing and current provisions of the Mining Act.

“As its value proposition is guaranteed by law – after all I believe this is really what my Honorable Governor for Morobe is seeking to clarify on behalf of the Tutumang.”

Seymour also called on Governor Ginson Saonu to employ wisdom in dialogue rather than submit to a Court proceeding to settle this delicate issue.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister has stated in the January sitting of Parliament that the MOU signed with the WGJV is an understanding between the parties on their expectations of the project.

He said they will ensure the Tutumang, landowners and other stakeholders have properly negotiated stakes before the project agreement is concluded by June 30th this year.

“So we have got another five months to continue to discuss some of the issue that we want to, particularly on the benefits too. Provincial governments, the State, the landowners and other stakeholders, let me remind our good leaders that we are also on the same side that we want to bring maximum benefit to our people and to our country.”

O’Neill said despite the current court action by the Tutumang against the State, they will not be excluded and will be involved in the project agreement negotiations which are yet to take place.

“We have tried to engage with the provincial government but there has been some misunderstanding. Morobe Provincial Government to its own wish they have established a consultancy team to advise them on the issues going forward and we respect that, that is the right of the Morobe Provincial Government but we are not excluding the Provincial Government on all these negotiations,” said the Prime Minister.

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Post Courier calls for new approach to landowner consultation

Wafi-Golpu And Frieda River Proposed Mines Are Nothing New To PNG

Post Courier Editorial | February 4, 2019

Papua New Guinea of all places in the world should know better than most other advancing, under developed and developing worlds what the price of new world class mines operations entail.

The industry itself is so sophisticated and complex that for an infant resource based country like PNG, the understanding and economics of the business has yet to be fully understood and appreciated. That is not to say PNG has not had its say and experienced what it means because the country’s history itself has demonstrated to the world what can and cannot go wrong in such developments.

It is a painful memory to give Bougainville as an example because that was the first ever manifestation of a culmination of events that took place because of the absence of modern day dialogue between developers and the local people of PNG.

Bougainville is too painful an experience to always delve on due to the that it was the first time ever that a civil war was fought on PNG soil. PNG’s experience are the two World Wars where it was not spared the agony of witnessing human beings being slaughtered and killed at random at the behest of two or more foreign powers attempting to take control of the world.

PNG was just caught up in the international quagmire of geo-political and militarily ambitious strategic to be the best in the world.

The point here then is that PNG is not short of world or international experience and exposure that it has learnt or not from. In this case Wafi and Golpu plus Freida River proposed gold and copper mines are the perfect opportunity to showcase what PNG can do when it comes to benefit streams which is what all landowners are screaming murder about at the moment. So with the unique experience that many of PNG’s outstation and communication officers process, perhaps the two new mining projects should set the new standards and technical understanding of what new resources development projects should be realigned in relation to connections with local people.

This is as opposed to the standard policies and principles contained within all mining and other resource projects agreements and understandings.

This means where there is no clear clarification of how best landowners should be involved in progressive developments be they technical or project economics, they should be debriefed like all other stakeholders.

It is about time where local landowners considered illiterate and uneducated are left out from the technical briefings provided and with the wishful thinking that community liaison officers can best do the job on behalf of developers and investors to explain basic project economics to curtail resentment. Landowners should be engaged from day one until project agreements are signed so as to avoid the prevailing misconceptions about who benefits most from the millions invested in projects.

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Foreign miners to hold state’s equity: O’Neill

Cedric Patjole | Loop PNG | January 30, 2019

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says understandings have been reached with Papua LNG developer Total E&P PNG and the Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture (WGJV) to hold State’s equity until the first export from both projects.

This is to ensure the state does not borrow to purchase equity in a project.

“The initial understanding we have with the second LNG and in particular Wafi-Golpu is that our participation in equity will be carried by the developer until the first export of either the gold and copper from Wafi-Golpu or in the second LNG Project, meaning we don’t have to borrow large sums of money that we are unable to repay.

“This is our resource, the developer has to carry us to a certain extent. I’m thankful that Total and Newcrest have agreed to those understanding and we are looking forward to our Ministerial committee finalising the development agreement that will make sure the resource owners are fully participating rather than waiting for loans to be paid and of course, the benefits rolling out to them,” said O’Neill.

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K500M Demand For Wafi-Golpu ‘Unreasonable’

Prime minister Peter O’Neill says K500M Demand For Wafi-Golpu is ‘Unreasonable’ Photograph: Dave Hunt/AAP

Isaac Nicholas | Post Courier | January 23, 2019

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill told Parliament yesterday that the Morobe provincial government demand for K400-K500 million in affidavits filed in a court application against the developer of Wafi-Golpu mine project and the State is unreasonable.

Mr O’Neill was responding to questions from Member for Markham Koni Iguan on the importance of Papua LNG and Wafi-Golpu mine in the country, the recent shutdown of operations and the court application filed by Morobe provincial government.

He said the court application by the provincial government was within its rights to take the State and developer and all the other stakeholders to court.

“But some of the affidavit that have been put forward in court are quite alarming, particularly demanding large sums of money to carry out some of the landowner forums and discussions that is going to take place,” Mr O’Neill said.

“We have to be reasonable, the project has not started yet asking for K4-500 million I heard is nobody is going to do that so please let us be realistic but we can’t stop the proceedings to go ahead but we will try and resolve these with all stakeholders in an amicable manner which will benefit our people and our country.”

Mr O’Neill said the MOU signed between the government and developers of Wafi-Golpu was just an understanding that would pave the way for talks between landowners and provincial governments and all stakeholders on benefits like local content and other benefits.

“These two projects, the Papua LNG and Wafi-Golpu have been a subject of discussion for many years since those two discoveries were made for gold and gas in Elk Antelope, and now that the developers have put in an application to develop those mines, government has a responsibility to ensure that they have the confidence of government and the confidence in the legislation under which we issued them the exploration licence where they were asked to come and invest and make these discoveries.”

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Poor LO Identification Was The Biggest Mistake Of The First PNG LNG: Maru

So will the government refuse to sanction new projects if the identification is not done properly?

Matthew Vari | Post Courier | January 21, 2019

National Planning Minister Richard Maru has said the biggest mistake ever made for the first PNG LNG project was the lack of landowner identification before going ahead with the project.

Mr Maru said this when making reference to the next lot of key mining projects set for development within the next couple of years and the need for developers to learn from such oversights.

“The biggest mistake we did with the PNG LNG project is that we didn’t identify the landowners first, that is a requirement by law and the responsibility for that is on the resource developer and not the government, I want to make that clear,’’ he said.

“My appeal to the proponents of the Freida project and Wafi-Golpu is to make sure all the landowners are identified now and they all have NID (National Identification) cards.

“Identify them early so we do not have the same problem when it comes to the distribution of royalties and deciding who we deal with.”

He made the call to companies not to make the same mistakes and go out early and identify the genuine landowners.

“It will help the forum process because the right people will come and talk.

“So I want to appeal to the developers while we support the project we want them to follow the laws and identify the landowners now early so when it comes to negotiations, the right people are represented and they have their say so we avoid problems in the future.

“By just following the lawful legal processes established by law to make sure we involve our people very early,” he said.

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Maru Supports Morobe’s Stand On No ‘Fly In Fly Out’

Ummm… “The best resource project that I have seen in my lifetime is the Bougainville copper mining project”.

Post Courier | January 18, 2019

National Planning Richard Maru has come out publicly to support the stance taken by the Morobe provincial government to oppose ‘fly in fly out’ arrangement for workers of the Wafi-Golpu project.

This is the first time a very senior member of Government has come out on the issue that has been a critical mainstay of discussions and forums by landowners and leaders alike in the Morobe province.

Minister Maru said if there was one thing that his government was taking away from mineral development, it was learning from previous Governments mistakes to not getting the best deal for the country.

“In this new deals that we want to put together for this country, under the new mining agreement for Wafi Golpu and Freida and even the second LNG project we are going to make sure that Papua New Guinea benefits more than any other resource projects in the past.

“I want place on record, this morning (yesterday) that I support the position taken by the Governor of Morobe and the people of Morobe that there will be no fly in fly out in the Wafi Golpu project.

“As planning minister we are already planning for a township at Nadzap and long term employees for Wafi-Golpu as far as I am concerned must live in Morobe and the income they generate must be used in Papua New Guinea, spent in Papua New Guinea, so we get back GST and the money must re-circulate within our economy,” Minister Maru said yesterday.

He said the situation where all resources are being depleted, all the monies end up in other countries all contribute to current issues being such as foreign currency shortages.

“As planning minister I do not support that, I want to see maximum benefit, families living here better, schools being built with the support of the resource companies, better towns being built.

“I want to say this and I make no apology to anyone. The best resource project that I have seen in my lifetime is the Bougainville copper mining project.

“They not only built a copper mine, they built a town, the best hospital, a supermarket, they provided international schools and all the families who were there and the benefits trickled around Bougainville.”

He said the model of BCL is need in the country.

“This is what will help to keep up the maximum revenue flows within this country and make sure that our country and this people will benefit of the wealth of our resources.”

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