PNG Morobe Governor Wenge wants his province to refine own gold, other minerals

 Papua New Guinea MINING Minister Sir Ano Pala has welcomed Morobe governor Luther Wenge’s request to refine gold and other minerals in his province.

Sir Ano noted in Parliament yesterday that the move for Papua New Guinea to have the capacity to process its own raw materials was long overdue and he would approve requests for companies or individuals to do so provided they had the resources and organisational structure set up.

Photo illustration of Gold by Island Sun

He pointed out that the only refinery PNG had to process gold and silver had closed down and miners now sent their minerals overseas for refining.

He said this was also a concern shared by those in the alluvial mining sector.

“What you are raising is what the country needs right now. So governor if you have the resources, organisation and the corporate structure and are ready, I will allow you to set up a refinery,” he said.

“Right now there is none so it is important that somebody who is willing, with the resources and structure, come forward and we’ll talk and I will give you the approval because it is long overdue.

“It is really important that there is someone, prepared to put their money and resources down.”

Sir Ano added that laws governing this area would apply to any enterprise venturing into refining precious metals and this included State organisations like provincial governments.

“The laws that apply to private sector mining companies, also apply to provincial governments, if you can set up yourselves, the rules are the same and the playground is level for everybody including governors,” he said.

The Minister said this in response to governor Wenge who wanted to know if the Morobe provincial government could start gold and mineral exploration in the province and to create their own refinery.

“Morobe is a country of gold and minerals. Morobe has been allowed by the colonial government to mine all the gold and minerals, taken out of the province, particularly in Bulolo and the Wau area,” he said.

“We cannot continue to allow foreigners to take our minerals out of the country to be processed. We must put a stop and we must refine it ourselves, making sure to separate the gold from other minerals, which we can profit from.”

The National / Pacific Mining Watch

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