Chief operations officer, Brian Leuck says the company will be hiring almost exclusively nationals, where 97 per cent of the workers will be of PNG nationality, while the other 3 per cent will be made up of expatriates.
"We are hoping to hire the bulk of them from the local region. We’re not sure yet what the ratio will be but our preference of course, if they’re qualified, will be to hire them from the local communities," Leuck says.
He adds that the company will also be conducting technical training to equip locals with necessary skills to work at the site.
"For the next 2 months we’ll be doing mining studies like mine planning and metallurgical work to get the mill ready again and in approximately two months, we’ll begin hiring the bulk of the people needed for the underground mining and milling."
Leuck adds that previous owner, Barrick Niugini, has done a good job in the community in terms of gaining their support and keeping them informed. "We found the community to be quite supportive of our project and we look forward to working closely with them in the future to bring economic benefits to the area."
"Having worked in other countries, I’ve heard PNG has a reputation of being a difficult place to do business but I’ve found it much easier to do business here than I expected," he says.