Frieda Mine project SML pursued

The Government of Papua New Guinea through the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) is committed to progressing the Frieda River Project Special Mining Lease (SML) application.

MRA acting managing director, Jerry Garry said the State was determined to commence initial work on the Frieda project SML application in the first quarter of 2024.

Mr Garry met with the owners of the PanAust Limited, Guangdong Rising Holding Group (GRHG) recently, updating them on the project progress.

PanAust has been operating the Frieda River Copper-Gold project since 2014.

Mr Garry told GRHG, a Chinese infrastructure investment company owned by the Guangdong Government, that the Frieda River Project was an important project to the PNG Government.

The project is currently in a pre-development stage pending assessment of its application for an Environmental Permit (EP) and an SML.

The GRHG delegation met with Mr Garry on Wednesday, October 25. He said by the second quarter, MRA would be fully committed to progressing the application.

The main issue for the application would be around the integrated Tailings Storage Facility and hydroelectric dam, which has been the subject of independent expert reviews. 

The dam will be discussed in detail with independent world-renowned dam experts from PNG and abroad.

Acting Managing Director for the Conservation Environment Protection Authority Jude Tukuliya was present at the meeting. Both MRA and CEPA gave a rundown on the respective processes involved in the permitting of the SML and EP.

They also gave updates on where both processes were with respect to timelines.

The visiting delegation included representatives from the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC), which is a department within the Chinese government that supervises and manages state-owned assets.

The SASAC Deputy Director Xiaoyun Wang said the purpose of SASAC’s visit to the MRA was to show their support and confidence in the Frieda River Project and also to familiarize themselves with the EP and the SML permitting processes for the project.

Their visit followed PNG Prime Minister James Marape’s visit to Guangdong Province, where Marape met with the Governor for Guangdong, Wang Weizhong.

The meeting between the two leaders was an extension of PM Marape’s participation in the Belt & Road Initiative, hosted by the President of the Republic of China, Xi Jinping, this month.

Mr Garry commended the Marape-Rosso Government for initiating business and investment opportunities for the country especially in the resource sector.

He said the PNG mining industry needs financial backing and the investment opportunities being provided by the government was welcoming news for the sector.

Loop Author