Environmental group to proceed with case

Justice Polume-Kiele in her decision handed down on Thursday 17th of September said under Section 51 of the Constitution, all citizens have a right to access public information.

The Mineral Resources Authority’s attempt to withheld key documents relating to the Nautilus Solwara 1 project was rejected by the Waigani National Court this week.

The National Court has given the all clear to communities and environmental groups to proceed lodging their claim to obtain key information on the Solwara 1 project.

Garry passionate about alluvial mining

Incoming Mineral Resource Authority Managing Director, Jerry Garry, said this recently.

Garry who is passionate about the Alluvial Gold Mining Sector said historical lessons in PNG have given him the drive to revisit the states intervention programs.

He said the alluvial goldfield in Bulolo, Morobe Province, conceived Placer Development Limited in 1926, which later grew from a few kilograms of gold per year to a major successful company in the world.

It’s about neighbours helping neighbours

MRA Managing Director, Philip Samar said giving a little hand to assist the villagers was the right thing to do, given that the calamity was unexpected and the magnitude of damage done to properties was considerable.

“There is not much these villagers can do but hope for external help. That is why we have stepped in to help. For us, it’s about neighbours helping neighbours.”

MRA calls for improvement in revised mining agreements

MRA Managing Director Philip Samar made this call when presenting six revised MoAs to the Mining Minister Byron Chan on Monday.

The revised MoAs are for Hidden Valley, Tolukuma, Ok Tedi, Simberi and Sinivit.

The only new mining project MoA is for Woodlark.

Samar said that there is definitely a need to improve on how these MOAs are administered.

“The negotiations, as difficult and challenging as they might be, is actually the easy part.

Alluvial mining production decreases

Production has continued to fall from the historic high of 120 ounces of gold in 2014 which netted in K373.3m, to 133 ounces in 2015 generating K356.3m.

This year MRA expects that 90 ounces of gold will be produced on the production aspect.

However, because the gold price increased substantially earlier in the year to an average $US1340/oz, and remained stable at that price for almost 6 months (only recently dropping below $US1200/oz), the revenue side is holding against the 2015 figures of K356.3 million.

Mineral exports’ revenue dropped

In its Mining Exploration Update, MRA attributed the decline to a low point in 2015 due to the cur­rent depressed mineral commodity cycle.

The regulator said this may be con­trasted to 2016 forecasts, based on actual export data to July 2016, of in excess of K8.2 billion.

Provincial government pledges to co-fund MRA programme

The OPG Project Manager Morris Kageni, announced the provincial government’s intention to assist last week at Kamondo village in ward 7 of Kokoda district, Sohe electorate.

The announcement was made to MRA geologists and witnessed by the people of Kamondo village.

Kageni said the funding which would come from the Provincial Services Improvement Programme (PSIP) would benefit the province in terms of acquiring baseline data.