He gave an update on developments in mining and petroleum industry to business leaders attending the Apec Business Advisory Council summit in Port Moresby.
Aopi said Papua New Guinea’s geology and associated potential endowment of resources had attracted exploration activities by many of the major companies such BP BHP, Shell, Phillips, Chevron, Exxon-Mobil and more recently Total.
He said this trend would continue.
“Providing that the PNG Government continues to maintain an attractive risk to reward environment for new ventures, there is every likelihood the nation’s geological prospectively will continue to fuel significant economic growth,” he said.
“On the minerals front, the discoveries at Frieda River in West Sepik and at Wafi-Golpu in Morobe are among the largest undeveloped copper-gold deposits in the world.
“The China-owned and Australian managed PanAust Mining expects to complete a feasibility study and special mining lease application on Frieda River mid-year.
“Australia’s largest gold producer, Newcrest Mining, and its South African partner, Harmony Gold, expect to commence development of the massive Wafi-Golpu resource within the next two years.”
Aopi said there was a host of smaller mineral prospects in the exploration pipeline, including larger scale alluvial gold mining and dredging of iron sands in certain river delta areas of the country, which overall still remains relatively under-explored.
The summit was hosted by the PNG Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Advisory Council an attended by more than 600 participants. The National/ PMW