President of the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum, Gerea Aopi, says this follows falling commodity prices, natural disasters as well as reforms to the sector.
“PNG has been impacted by the El Nino and the fluctuating commodity prices, as for the resource sector, we have faced a level of uncertainty due to the various reforms underway. Some of these include proposed changes to the Mining Act and the recent tax measures announced as part of the government budget process.
“The El Nino induced drought caused our only copper producing mine, Ok Tedi to a halt for nearly 7 months while production at Porgera gold mine was also briefly halted by this natural calamity.
“Ramu Nickel, PNG's only nickel/cobalt mine was also forced to cease production following a fatality at its Basamuk processing facility,” Aopip said.
While the effects of the El Nino drought has subsided commodity process remain low.
Aopi, however, remains optimistic saying “the commodity price market is cyclical and it will take some time before we see any major rebound in prices.”
He further said Government reforms in the sector should make PNG an attractive investment destination by fostering a globally competitive fiscal, legislative and regulatory regime that can underpin the development of existing projects and attract further investment.
Picture credit: PNG Chamber of Mining and Petroleum.