Deal for gold refinery, factory not final, says Papua New Guinea Prime Minister

Papua New Guinea  PRIME Minister James Marape says a deal signed for a proposed PNG Gold Refinery and Mint Factory was “not final”.

He was responding to questions by Abau MP Sir Puka Temu in Parliament to explain his government’s understanding of the protocols embedded in the gold refinery industry.

Sir Puka also questioned how the investor was chosen.

Marape said the Government’s vision to build a gold refinery and mint factory in the country was a bold move in the right direction to get more from the country’s gold resources and reserves.

It also included having a gold bullion bank in the future.

Marape said since the 1800s, gold was harvested in the country, and the country had been exporting gold since, but, never saw and or knew how much gold was produced in country.

He told Parliament that the proponents of the PNG gold refinery and mint factory and the Government had signed an agreement for the business, but the deal was a work-in-progress, not final.

“The agreement that we have signed with the proponents of the proposed PNG Gold Refinery and Mint Factory can be re-looked at if it is not in the best interest of our nation,” Marape said.

“They have been pushing this proposal in the last eight to nine years through past governments and ministers.

“The former prime minister’ cabinet approved the project in 2014 through NEC decision 297/2014, and my Government has reviewed this to get better benefits.

“They have been going and coming, back and forth, with their proposal, and they wanted an 80 to 90-year exclusivity right to mint and refine all gold in PNG and export overseas. Under the review that my Government put through the State Negotiation Process, we have arrived at a much improved version that includes an equal 50-50 ownership, with Refinery Holdings Ltd putting up the entire capital to construct the refinery.”

The National / Pacific Mining Watch

Next : Opposition Leader says Gold Deal not following PM Marape's Take Back PNG motto

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