PNG's Frieda Mine has a world-scale deposit

The Frieda River copper and gold project has been described as a world-scale deposit and one of the top 10 undeveloped copper deposits in the world.

PanAust Managing Director, Fred Hess, said this recently in Australia during the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum Conference in Sydney.

Business Advantage PNG reports Hess saying the project is of national significance and will create many local jobs and open business opportunities.

However, he warned of the many challenges which include environmental conservation and the lack of infrastructure.

“There are no free lunches. We must be mindful of the risks of developing large scale projects.

“Frieda River has substantial logistical challenges. It is inland; there are no roads.

“It is crucial not to jeopardise the livelihoods and environment for all those people downstream,” said Hess.

“For access to the site for the main logistics required, you go up the Sepik River for 600 kilometres and then you need a road for another 100 kilometres, up to the actual mine site.

“If you look at the terrain, it is relatively mountainous and it has a high level of rainfall all year round.

“That makes a challenging environment in terms of building stable structures and just undertaking the whole construction effort,” said Hess.

He added that some 30,000 people are very mindful of the activity upstream and the company needed to take into consideration their livelihood and environment.

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