Employment in Papua New Guinea on rebound, thanks to Mining and Petroleum Sector Growth

The PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum yesterday welcomed a report by the World Bank that has forecasted that new large-scale resource projects could boost PNG’s real gross domestic product to five per cent this year.
The World Bank last week released its February 2019 edition of the PNG Economic Update which outlined PNG’s economic situation and medium-term development prospects.
The report stated that the country’s medium-term economic outlook was optimistic if proposed large-scale resource projects are approved, and that real GDP growth was forecast to rebound this year as major mineral and petroleum export projects return to full production following the 2018 earthquake.
The report further found that jobs in the extractives sector continued to grow in 2018, while overall employment in other sectors fell.
Chamber vice president Richard Kassman said the World Bank’s forecast of a rebound in the PNG’s economy was welcome news for the country and the business sector, particularly at a time when the country continues to face challenges with its foreign reserves.
“The World Bank report demonstrates that the mining and petroleum sector remain absolutely critical for PNG jobs, the economy, and all the social benefits that flow from this,” he said.
“Timely approval of the proposed major new projects is essential to getting these projects up and running, and the benefits flowing to the people.
“With these new waves of investments, PNG can further establish itself as a prime destination for investment and exploration, provided government maintains the right fiscal, regulatory and legislative settings to continue to attract responsible and sustainable global investors,” he said.
The projects under consideration by the government include: the Papua LNG and P’nyang gas development; production and export of condensate and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is projected to commence in 2021 from the Pasca field PNG’s first offshore development in the Gulf of Papua; and the world-class Wafi-Golpu copper-gold project in Morobe Province which, if approved, an initial capital investment is expected of approximately K9.1 billion, with total capital expenditure expected to be around K17.4 billion (US$5.4 billion) over the estimated 28-year life of the mine.
The industry contributes over 26 per cent of PNG’s GDP, around 80 per cent of the nation’s export revenue and provides employment to more than 20,000 Papua New Guineans with significantly more working in other sectors dependent on the industry.
This includes landowner businesses.

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