MRA to aid alluvial miners in PNG

Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) plans to gather more geological data on alluvial gold occurrence in Papua New Guinea in 2016, and avail them to the small scale miners in the country.

MRA’s manager for the Geological Mapping and Exploration Branch Dulcie Saroa, said at the recently concluded Alluvial Mining Convention and Trade Show in Lae that there was insufficient data on alluvial gold occurrences-deposits.

Ms Saroa said this had resulted in missed income earning opportunities for small scale miners in the country and export revenues.

Last year PNG’s alluvial gold sector produced 119,000 ounces of gold which generated export revenue of K373m.

The aim is to increase these figures through the collection of more geological data and making it readily available to miners and stakeholders so as to stimulate activity in the sector.

This in turn is also expected to contribute to alleviating poverty amongst miners and their surrounding communities through increased spin off economic activities.

Ms Saroa said to achieve this, the MRA plans to embark on a number of initiatives that will result in the identification of alluvial gold prospective areas in the country. They include:

Research into gold depositional environments where the primary source of gold has not been clearly identified to provide new geological models which can be used to support mineral exploration;
Carry out resource estimation work for non-mechanised alluvial miners to build resource confidence;
Sample and essay all alluvial gold specimens (nuggets and refractory) with records kept in the MRA’s geoscientific (alluvial gold) database and to be available to all stakeholders.
The latter she said would be done in consultation with the authority’s Small Scale Mining Training Centre in Wau.

MRA’s managing director Philip Samar said the entity would spend time and resources to provide necessary services to alluvial miners in the country as it is mandated under the Mining Act.

He urged miners and stakeholders to co-operate and support his geologists when they are in their areas collecting data.
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