PanAust granted renewals for exploration licenses

The Government of Papua New Guinea through the Mineral Resources Authority has granted six exploration licenses to PanAust, Frieda River Limited’s parent company.

Mining Minister, Sir Ano Pala says the approval of these exploration licenses is a demonstration of the government’s commitment to move the Frieda River Project forward.

Since 2014, PanAust has committed over $260 million US, which is well over K870 million, on the Frieda River Project through the two feasibility studies completed in 2016 and 2018.

PanAust General Manager Studies, Phil McCormack, says this includes ongoing community support, government relations and stakeholder engagements.

With a staff of 26 on-site staff, the company assists with helicopters for medical emergencies, provides support in the areas of education, health and in the local communities as well. This support has continued since established in 2014.

McCormack said, “We are willing and waiting to work with the government of PNG to ensure that we can deliver world class project that PNG can be proud of that will benefit not just the people of the area but the whole of PNG with hopefully some new infrastructure and open up the area of the Sepik Region that is well and truly over due to be developed in this great country of Papua new Guinea.”

Mineral Resource Authority’s (MRA) Acting Managing Director, Jerry Garry says the State team’s manpower is stretched between the Wafi Goldpu Project and Porgera mine project and thus has not progressed the assessment of the Frieda River Project at this stage.

“But as soon as we get the one of the projects off the ground, we will seriously look into that, assessing and permitting Frieda River Project.

“It is my pleasure to have the Minister sign off on the six supporting exploration tenements, those grounds will ultimately hold various infrastructures for Frieda River project. Such as airstrip, the dam, the power plant, processing plant, and the other supporting infrastructures,” said Garry.

Sir Ano Pala says the approval of these exploration licenses is a demonstration of the government’s commitment to move the Frieda River Project forward.

MRA says the Frieda River Project is a major undeveloped resource in PNG.

“The state is looking to ensure that all effort is given towards permitting the project after the Wafi Golpu and Porgera Mine projects are sorted,” added Garry.

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