PNG's Wafi Golpu Mine Negotiation Still Drags on, says Governor Wenge

Papua New Guinea's Morobe Governor Luther Wenge says negotiations for Wafi Golpu by the State Negotiation Team is dragging. 

Mr Wenge says the position of the Morobe Provincial government is clear that the mine must go into it's construction phase. 

He says the Morobe Provincial Government wants the billion kina project to be granted the Special Mining Lease to enable preparations for the construction phase to begin. 

It is understood that a special mining lease was to be signed in December last but that did not take place. 

Morobe Governor and People's Labor Party Parliamentary leader Luther Wenge is alleging that the delay with the negotiations is with the state negotiating team. 

The State Negotiating Team is currently talking with the Mine's developer on behalf of all stakeholders. 

Chairman of the State Negotiating team Dairi Vele was quoted in the media this week saying the team is trying to get the best deal from the proposed K18.5 billion project. 

Meanwhile, the Morobe Provincial Government is adamant that the royalty payments agreement of the Wafi Golpu project must be lawful. 

Governor Wenge explains that by law,  royalties are paid at just 2 percent. 

Mr Wenge says the National Government is pushing for an additional 3 percent to bring the total royalty payment rate to 5 percent. 

Mr Wenge says this is against the law and he says that is why the developer of the Wafi Golpu project is objecting. 

He adds if the national government wants more royalty payments, then changes must be done to the laws in place so that these laws work in favour of the government. 

In October 2022, the Morobe Provincial government announced that it agreed in principle to the five percent royalty with the state and developers. 

The Morobe Governor  also briefed the Morobe Tutumang in October last year that the Morobe Provincial Government and the  resource owners of Babuaf,Hengambu and Yanta will be in receipt of a 10% free carry equity from the currently negotiated 30% equity of the PNG Government in the Wafi Golpu project. 

But just last week, Governor Wenge confirmed that the details of the free carry 10% equity arrangement is not clear. 

The Wafi Golpu mining project is estimated to be an K18.5 billion Investment for the country.

Photo Credit: Parliamentary Media Services

 FM 100  / Pacific Mining Watch 

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