The amendment law will change the ownership of mineral resources found within customary land from the State to customary landowners.
PNG’s Mining Act 1992 states that “all gold and minerals in or on any land in the country are properties of the State” but that will all change with the new law, if passed.
With amendments to the Law, customary landowners will now actively participate in the mining industry through exploration and extraction of their mineral resources.
Under the proposed changes, the State will continue to be the regulator for mining on customary land and in carrying out its functions is required to consult customary landowners, the Provincial Government and local level Government where the mining activity is located.
Failure by the State to consult will result in an invalid agreement.
Deputy Governor and Chairman for Resources, Sammy Missen said for so long indigenous landowners have been deprived the rights to ownership of mineral ownership and assets and it is about time landowners fully benefit from what truly belongs to them.
Missen is calling on Members of Parliament for unanimous support towards this important amendment bill when it goes through Parliament.