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PNG revives gold refinery

MELANESIAN Trustee Services Ltd (MTSL) will inject K2 million to refurbish Metal Refinery Operations (MRO) for the start of business early next year, executive officer Kennedy Wemin (pictured right) said.
MTSL is the trustee of Pacific Balanced Fund – formerly the Investment Corporation of Papua New Guinea (ICPNG).
A few years ago, ICPNG partnered with Australian company Australia Gold Refineries to set up MRO for gold refining in PNG.
In 2010, MTSL facilitated the purchase of shares belonging to Australia Gold Refineries-Matthey joint venture in MRO, giving PBF 100% ownership of the refinery.
MRO had operated successfully until an armed robbery in 2008, which forced the refinery to close business for good. 
However, Wemin said that “due to present economic conditions, the re-establishment of the refinery going forward was in the best interest of the PBF and its unit holders.”
He said: “Through the business direction of MTSL, we have decided to re-establish MRO as the premier precious metal refinery in the Pacific region with a recapitalisation programme of K5.6 million. 
“We will invest K2 million into refurbishing MRO, with the balance of K3.6 to start the business early next year.”
MRO has a refining capacity of up to 250,000 ounces per month of gold and 500,000oz per month (silver) with a product purity of 99.99 -99.999+% refined gold and 99.9 -99.99+% refined silver.  
The refinery had the capacity to refine all dore gold bars produced by major mining companies in the country, inclusive of alluvial gold production around the country and the production from the surrounding alluvial mines and gold mines in the Pacific region. 
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