Singaporean Exploration Company withdraws interests to Mine Sand in PNG's Madang Province

THE company from Singapore exploring opportunities for sand mining in Madang  in Papua New Guinea has withdrawn, according to the country's Mineral Resources Authority (MRA).

Niugini Sands Ltd had shown interest to mine sand in Sumgilbar, Sumkar.

MRA managing director Jerry Garry yesterday told The National that the company had notified them of its intention to withdraw.

“The (mining advisory) council has not deliberated on the withdrawal application,” he said.

“As and when it’s received and tabled before the mining advisory council, we will then effect the withdrawal of the licence, what we technically call a ‘surrender’.

“They have written to our technical branch stating their intention to surrender the tenement.

“But it has not come to the attention of the mining advisory council.

“It is highly likely that it will come to the council in the next meeting which will be about three weeks from now.

“It is a voluntary withdrawal by the proponents and it has nothing to do with MRA.

“We didn’t force them to withdraw.

“Unless and when we see that the project proposal has detrimental consequences to people and the environment, the council has the power to force them to reconsider their application in terms of demarcating, realigning their boundaries.

“In the case of the sand, it’s really an exploration license that they applied for not a mining lease.”

Last September, Madang tourism industry association raised concern over the potential environmental impact of the sand mining company if it was allowed to operate in the province.

According to the association chairman Sir Peter Barter, the mining would affect the environment.

“These types of projects, especially to do with our marine ecosystems, will affect the leatherback turtle sanctuary in the Sumgilbar LLG,” he said. 


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