PNG Petromin completes divestment process on Tolukuma Mine

STATE owned Petromin has successfully sold its ownership of Tolukuma Gold Mine to Singaporean Asidokona Mining Resources PTE for K81 million.

The transfer of ownership was formalised on December 2 at the mine site, witnessed by company officials from Petromin and Asidokona, Mineral Resources Authority, the Central Provincial Government, chiefs and landowners.

A relived managing director Thomas Abe on Wednesday announced the sale. The cash though is concessionary because Asidokona will also pick up Petromin’s K170 million liabilities comprising accumulated loses made over the last eight years. The downturn in commodity prices had added pressure to this financial burden, forcing Petromin to make the commercial decision to sell Tolukuma.

"I am pleased to announce that Petromin has successfully completed the sale of TGM to Asidokona, who will now be the new owner of Tolukuma Gold Mine," Mr Abe announced.

He commended Asidokona for entering the PNG mining sector at this time and thanked them for their commitment and co-operation in completing the transaction successfully.

He said since acquiring the mine in 2008, TGM had accumulated around K170 million losses over the eight years.

But he said the sale now releases Petromin of this financial burden. He said despite the challenges Asidokona would be facing due to the nature of the mine operations, there was comfort in that the company already employed a core group of national staff.

Mr Abe said they were capable in meeting the challenges in order to turn TGM around for the collective benefit of all stakeholders.

The purchase price for TGM includes a non-cash component, which comprises giving 10 per cent of the issued share capital of Asidokona to be given free to the Central Provincial Government and the Tolukuma landowners.

Mr Abe said this is the first of its kind offered by a mining company.

"The agreement also provides K6 million contributory funding for the construction of a road to provide vehicle access to the village of Tolukuma," he said.

Petromin will soon change its name to Kumul Minerals Holdings Ltd on January 1, 2016. Kumul Minerals is the State nominee for all upcoming mining development projects.

Despite the sale of Tolukuma, Kumul Minerals plans to become a major player in PNG’s mineral sector through partnerships in mineral resource projects.
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