Bullion bank policy funds yet to be released

Minister for Trade, Commerce and Industry, Wera Mori, says the delay by Treasury to release funds has stalled the development of the Gold Bullion Bank Policy the Government announced in 2017.

In a recent media conference in Port Moresby, Minister Mori said the K2 million allocated for the policy development has not been released without any proper reason, adding the Policy was a key agenda of the Government under the Alotau Accord II.

Minister Mori outlined that the establishment of a Gold Bullion Bank would create a strong economic base for the country, strengthen the Kina and lift growth.

He added it was imperative that this was done soon as the country’s gold resources were being depleted, as the country had an estimated 5,000 to 6,000 tonnes of gold with more than half of that already gone.

“By the time Wafi-Golpu comes on stream, Yandera, Frieda River, or Mt Kare, we would have mined out our resources in the next 30 to 50 years,” he stated.

Minister Mori said the development of the police was crucial for the future generation.

“If we are not able to store at least some of what we produce in this country, and build up our own stock pile of gold bullion, let me tell you our kids, the future will not look bright for them. Our economy will not have that strength.

“PNG we don’t even have one ounce of gold bullion in the country.”

The Minister also called on the Central Bank of PNG to be innovative in the development of such key policies.

“And I’m going to challenge the Central Bank, they should not be sleeping, they should be looking for innovative ways to sustain our Kina.

“One tonne of gold is equivalent to US$40 million. If you stock 5 tonnes a year that’s about US$200 million a year. That’s something tangible.”

Bullion is gold, silver or precious metals that is officially recognised as being at least 99.5 percent pure and is in the form of bars or nuggets.

Bullion is legal tender that is held in reserves by central banks with approximately 20 percent of mined gold held by central banks worldwide.

This gold is held as bullions in reserves which the bank uses to settle international debt or stimulate the economy through gold lending.

(Minister for Trade, Commerce and Industry, Wera Mori)

Cedric Patjole