Saturday, January 19, 2019

PNG leaders back Frieda Mine Project

Three Sepik leaders have openly thrown their support for the Frieda mine project to proceed.

Yangoru-Saussia MP and National Planning Minister, Richard Maru, Telefomin MP and Defense Minister, Solan Mirism and Ambunti-Dreikiki MP Johnson Wapunai gave their public support in a conference with the media in Port Moresby.

The leaders believe the project will unlock the vast economic potentials in some of the most remote areas in both East and West Sepik provinces:

"We are here to tell the nation, as Sepik leaders, we are right behind this project, and no cheap politics and no one will compromise this interest.

"This project must go on, provided that the environment is not compromised in any way.

"So I say to the developer, we the Sepik leaders will make sure the Sepik River is not compromised, and we're happy the slurry is coming down by pipeline.

"For the tailings we will make sure we get independent legal experts to inform the government independently that the dam will not collapse under any earthquake or whatever scale of disaster," Mr Maru said.

Frieda River Project is located in the provinces of West Sepik and East Sepik.

It is one of the biggest copper and gold deposits found in the Asia-Pacific region.

The mine is jointly owned by PanAust (80%) and Highlands Pacific (20%).

PanAust acquired the majority stake earlier held by Glencore in August 2014, becoming operator of the mine.

The acquisition agreement was made in October 2013.

The mine will be developed as an open cut operation.

Based on the pre-feasibility study completed in October 2010, the mine was expected to produce 246,000t of copper and 379,000 ounces (oz) of gold annually.

The estimated mine lifespan was more than 20 years.

A due diligence evaluation held by PanAust and Highlands Pacific however estimated average annual production of 125,000t of copper and 200,000oz of gold in concentrate assuming a processing rate of 30 million tonnes per annum.

Six main deposits, namely Horse, Ivaal, Truki, Nena, Koki and Ekwai, have been identified at the Frieda River copper and gold mine.

The mine also contains several other unexplored deposits.

NBC News
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