PNG Governor Joins opposition to Australian based Mining Company Mayur Resources

 NORTHERN Governor Gary Juffa has joined the opposition to a plan by an Australian-based company to mine limestone near Port Moresby, and set up a coal-fired power plant in Lae.

The plan involves Australian rugby league legend Darren Lockyer who is the front man and head of business affairs of mining company Mayur Resources which is trying to develop a number of mines in PNG, and a coal-fired power station.

The Brisbane-based Mayur, which is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, has had 20 exploration licences granted by Papua New Guinea, including for copper, gold, limestone, mineral sands and coal.

According to an Australian newspaper report, Mining Minister Johnson Tuke had praised Mayur for bringing jobs, revenue and prosperity to PNG.

In a statement to the Australian stock exchange by Mayur, Tuke said a 20-year deal for Mayur to mine limestone north of Port Moresby would “bring an additional source of mining/manufacturing export revenue will be most welcome by the PNG government.”

But Juffa said the move by Mayur to parachute Lockyer into the region was a grave insult to the people of PNG.

“We have become so brainwashed that we will be convinced of anything if they simply put an Aussie league player in front of it to sell,” Juffa said.

Juffa questioned whether Lockyer would have paid PNG any heed “if he wasn’t lobbying for his company to be given all green lights for coal”.

But it is their proposed productions plans – a cement production facility close to the capital of Port Moresby, and a coal mine and an associated coal-fired power plant, to be based in the coastal city of Lae – which have caused most alarm.

A separate mineral sands development, proposed by Mayur, at Orokolo Bay has also raised further concerns about the increasing influence of Chinese money in PNG.

Mayur Resources has entered the joint venture with the Hong Kong-registered China Titanium Resources Holdings for the US$850 million (K2.9bil) proposal.

Lockyer said he had been involved with Mayur since 2013, and he had been drawn to their vision of PNG developing its own energy assets.

Lockyer rejected claims that community members had not been consulted about a coal mine power plant 500 metres from their village.

The National/Pacific Mining Watch

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PNG government to take over Porgera Gold Mine

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