Amendment gives State access to mineral data

The inclusion of the ‘Repository for all Mineral and Geological Data’ clause in the amended Mining Act will ensure the state is aware of the amount of minerals extracted from each, their real value, and access to mineral and exploration data.

Managing Director of the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA), Jerry Garry, said the amendment was proposed on the back of considerations the country is  missing out on revenue opportunities through tax collection.

He said PNG’s tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio is very low at 13.7 percent.

Garry said the MRA’s preliminary findings, with  support from the Organisation for Economic Coorporation and Development (OECD), revealed that PNG is collecting 20 percent less than the OECD member countries’ average.  Meaning PNG may have been losing out on its opportunity to collect more tax from the mining sector.

Garry said the statistics acquired from OECD led the MRA, the Mineral Policy & Geohazards Management (DMPGM) and other relevant government departments into proposing the addition.

Section 5A of the Act empowers the state through MRA and its line agencies, to acquire “Live” mineral processing and production data, from mining companies operating in the country.

Garry explained that at present mining companies provide statistical data to MRA in a Form, which has never been and does not get verified through independent State – sponsored audits or reconciliations for each operating mine. The only way to verify data supplied by mining companies is by virtually having live visibility to throughput, recovery and tailings data from the processing plants.

The MD said, the MRA would work with its partners to build necessary infrastructure that would enable them view live production data.

He said having visibility to mineral processing and production data would enable the State to have much better control over how much metals and revenue have been generated over a given period and how money is likely due for the country.

Mining Minister, Johnson Tuke, said the changes to the Mining Act enabled all parties to benefit equally in the industry.


Cedric Patjole