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Mining authority reports growth in small scale mining in PNG

PAPUA New Guinea’s small scale or alluvial mining has seen growth in past several years and last year the sector recorded K373.4 million in revenue from alluvial gold exports, according to the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA).
Information from the authority showed that an additional K2.1 million was generated during the period from silver exports.
At present, there are an estimated 70,000 to 80, 000 active miners mostly in remote areas of Papua New Guinea.
MRA, through its small scale mining branch, plays an important role in promoting and regulating the sector.
The authority since establishing a training centre at Wau, Morobe, in 2009, has certified over 3,500 alluvial miners.
“Alluvial miners are more focused on gold (and the bi-product, silver), though some miners insist that they have found gemstones,” MRA said in a statement yesterday.
“Use of mercury to separate gold is a major concern.
“We believed that it has to educate the alluvial miners to increase productivity and to ensure environmentally friendly and sustainable mining methods for extracting gold.
 “After attending the training (alluvial mining) a grassroot miner can become a manager of his own alluvial mining operation with financial capability through his savings from the operation.
“For larger scale mechanised operations the tenement holder may enter into a joint venture arrangement with a third party called a Tribute agreement, which is required to be approved prior to formal registration under the Mining Act.
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