The Minerals Resources Authority said positivity remains high following the registration of the Frieda River and Wafi-Golpu SMLs and the entry of Anglo American, as reported in the Mining and Petroleum Review (Vol.4 Issue 3).
The SML applications have been described as a unique situation in PNG mining history as there has been, on average, one project per decade.
The MRA says active licenses have increased for the period January to August 2016, from 125 to 134 (a 7 percent increase), which is consistent with the renewals increasing from 54 to 68.
“Again the message from this data is that the decline in exploration has stopped and there are incremental increases in activity, which indicate more positive signs for the sector,” says the Authority.
“It should be noted that these historic figures are heavily influenced by one company, Nautilus, which released over 50 offshore exploration license areas during the period from 2014.”
The decline in exploration is also evident in the decrease in exploration expenditure, with a significant drop from K595.7 million in 2013 to around K350 million over the past three years.
Meanwhile, Anglo American and Highlands Pacific have executed a joint venture and farm agreements for the Star Mountains Copper Gold Project.
Rio Tinto is also said to have re-entered the PNG market however, it has been reported that it will sever its link with PNG.
Picture Credit: Highlands Pacific