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PNG Mining Authority clarifies Status of Simberi Mine

ISSUES recently raised by the Simberi Mine Area Association (SMAA) about the mining lease extension and related grievances have been driven by persons who are not well informed, an official says.
Mineral Resources Authority managing director Jerry Garry said on the mining lease extension, the plan was to convert from oxide ore to sulphide ore treatment without significant material change in the metal output.
“If there was any significant increase in the metal production, the benefits would be translated directly into increase in the royalty received,” he said.
Garry said the current law was set at two per cent free on board (FOB) or net smelter return (NSR) if the product was from a refinery within Papua New Guinea.
SMAA earlier called on Prime Minister James Marape and the National Executive Council (NEC) to explain how an extension of the Simberi mining lease had been approved without the landowners’ consent.
“The warden hearing was heard and discussions on the revised MOA (memorandum of agreement) has been ongoing,” Garry said.
“The MRA project coordinators for Simberi and Lihir projects have been tasked to conclude the discussions within the next two months.” Garry said some misconceptions raised that needed to be corrected were:

  •  Mining and exploration activities are national functions and are administered and regulated by the MRA at the national level. There are internal processes and procedures which assist in administering these activities which are not necessarily subject to expectations, perceptions and external stakeholders. Simply, they do not dictate the terms in which MRA does business;
  •  Regulatory operations and licensing processes, which the regulatory operations division of the MRA administers, run independently and again, are not dictated and subjected to external pressure groups. The renewal of the mining license has involved a check list which has been fully complied with to satisfy the renewal licensing process;
  •  Simberi MoA has been a prolonged issue which has been protracted over the years partly because of landownership issues.
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