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PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum wants mining law conducive to investment

Staff Reporter | 12:40 PM | |
The PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum says it wants a modern, internationally competitive mining legislation to underpin a world class industry and attract continued investments into the country.

The Chamber was responding to comments by secretary of the Department of Mineral Policy and Geo-hazard Management (DMPGM) Shadrack Himata who had accused it of being a blockage in getting the revised law approved.

In a statement released yesterday the Chamber said it and industry members had been involved in a lengthy discussion process with DMPGM in which they had made contributions drawing from the experience of its members operating in various countries.

Further, where required seeking independent and comparative analysis of the proposed changes to test its potential impact on the industry and the flow on impact to the overall economy.

"It is on the basis of those comparisons that the Chamber highlight edits significant concerns with the changes being proposed for the Mining Act."

The Chamber said that the proposed changes to the Mining Act would cost Papua New Guinea billions in State revenue, millions of kina in landowner and stakeholder benefits, thousands of jobs and will also have drastic impacts on social development such as health, education and training, impact the growth of Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and landowner businesses by driving away much needed direct foreign investment.

It said planned future projects like the Frieda River, and the Wafi-Golpu projects will also be impacted by the proposed Mining Act, rendering them economically unviable.

The Chamber said despite repeatedly raising these issues and making detailed explanations of their impacts, the DMPGM was not able or not willing to fully consider the impacts.

It also believes the proposed Mining Act will severely impact the attractiveness of PNG as a mineral exploration and development destination with these impacts to be felt throughout the PNG economy in the short, medium and long term.

"As the PNG economy is experiencing, as we go through weak economic conditions, the importance of maintaining large scale economic projects and the investments they bring becomes paramount.