PNGEITI: Contracts still remain confidential

The PNG Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative has reported that resource extraction contracts and licenses remain confidential information.

Section 163 of the Mining Act, Section 51 of the Mineral Resource Authority Act and Section 159 of the Oil and Gas Act protect the confidentiality of these contracts.

Without Legislative amendment at this stage, agreements could only be made public with the approval of both the company and the Department of Petroleum and Energy, or the Mineral Resources Authority.

Civil Society organisations have called to have this changed in the interest of greater transparency.

However, head of PNGEITI Lucas Alkan said while mining companies may feel comfortable to disclose, oil and gas companies, being more exposed to global market dynamics, may feel that disclosure of agreement details would reveal their strategy and become commercially sensitive.

He said dialogue continues with companies on the matter, based on commercial bearings to the detriment of a particular company.

Salome Vincent