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PNG overhauling mining sector

Staff Reporter | 11:17 PM | |
THE government is overhauling the country’s mining laws and policies to streamline the industry’s business structure
Mining Minister Byron Chan said the move would reshape Papua New Guinea’s mining sector for the better.
Speaking at a seminar yesterday, Chan said PNG was no exception to the recent effects of adverse global financial climate.
Chan told major players the government was very well aware of the issues affecting the mining industry and had taken steps to rectify past mistakes.
“PNG’s potential in the mining sector is demonstrated by existence of some world class projects.
“Many of these mines such as Ok Tedi, Porgera, Lihir, Hidden Valley, Tolukuma, Sinivit, Simberi and Ramu have their own unique challenges.
“Apart from the operating mines, we have a number of exploration projects in advanced stages.
“The government is committed to ensure these projects are brought on stream to be the next pipeline of mining projects over the next five years.
“With the renewed interest in the country’s mining activities, PNG has the potential to become a well-developed nation if only we could properly and effectively harness these projects and maximise benefits …this calls for better management of issues affecting industry.”
Chan said major challenges initiated by the national government included introduction of the Kumul Trust and establishment of Sovereign Wealth Fund, among others.
He said the ministry had undertaken to continue the mineral policy and legislation review exercise.
Main challenges that were now facing the government, which were predominant throughout the mining provinces were issues concerning:

Mineral ownership;
Greater national participation;
Increased and better distribution of mine derived benefits;
Tangible infrastructure developments;
Relocation and resettlement planning;
Mine closure and rehabilitation;
Sustainability of communities impacted by mining projects; and
Improved monitoring and regulating by the state.
Chan urged stakeholders involved in the sector to take heed and contribute meaningful to address the issues.
He announced that presentations on the proposed changes to the Mining Act would be passed in parliament next year. The National