The Asia Miner

JUL-SEP 2019

The ASIA Miner - Reporting Important Issues to Mining Companies in the Asia Pacific Region

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Page 15 of 59

the asia miner • volume 16 • issue 3 14 REGIONAL FOCUS: PNG & South Pacific PNG Mining News has reported that Michael Hunt, an advisor to the Special Mining Lease Osikaiyang Landowners Associaঞon (SMLOLA), has issued a sঞnging a•ack on the statement which a•empted to jusঞfy the proposed changes to the Bougainville Mining Act (BMA). Mr Hunt, one of the world's leading mining lawyers, said, the Statement, enঞtled "Interpreঞng Part 17 of the BMA", "pretends to explain the Bougainville Mining Act (Amendment) Bill 2019 (Bill) in laymen's terms but in reality, it is a false and misleading manifesto riddled with errors." The changes were rejected by the Bougainville Parliamentary Commi•ee on Legislaঞon with the statement submi•ed to the commi•ee by Minister Wilson and was published on June 19, 2019. Mr Hunt categorically confirmed that the proposed amendments would actually abolish all of the landowners' rights relaঞng to any applicaঞon by the company 40 per cent of which will be owned by McGlinn's Caballus Mining and other foreign investors. He added that all the provisions in Parts 1 to Part 16 of the BMA, which protect the rights of landowners, are over-ridden by the stroke of a pen in Part A of the Bill. The confiscaঞon of the landowners' property and rights under the Bill is "unreasonable, unfair and unconsঞtuঞonal." said Mr Hunt in his formal legal opinion. Mr Hunt confirmed the view previously expressed by SMLOLA: that the Bill "effecঞvely confers a near monopoly on one company over exploraঞon and mining on Bougainville". Mr Miriori, the Chairman of the SMLOLA further quesঞoned how it was possible that they got the interpretaঞon of the amending legislaঞon so grossly incorrect? The Parliamentary Commi•ee reported that the normal pracঞces and safeguards were sidestepped. Top lawyer questions ABG's interpretation of mining act economic growth, including through more employment opportuniঞes for women. "Reforms aimed at improving access to infrastructure, foreign exchange, finance, land and skilled labor are required to ease constraints on PNG's private sector development," said Ilyas Sarsenov, World Bank Senior Country Economist for Papua New Guinea. "Seমng the non-resource sector on a more robust trajectory will be essenঞal to creaঞng enough good jobs to absorb the large number of young job-seekers entering the labor force in the coming decades, parঞcularly in the agriculture, fisheries, and tourism sectors." As quoted in local media, Chamber Vice President Mr Richard Kassman OBE said the World Bank's forecast of a rebound in the PNG's economy was welcome news for the country and the business sector, parঞcularly at a ঞme when the country conঞnues to face challenges with its foreign reserve. "The World Bank Report demonstrates that the mining and petroleum sector remain absolutely criঞcal for PNG jobs, the economy, and all the social benefits that flow from this," he said. "Timely approval of the proposed major new projects is essenঞal to geমng these projects up and running, and the benefits flowing to the people." The February 2018 earthquake adversely affected producon in the extracve sector, dragging down economic growth in 2018 The PNG Government is currently considering a number of projects, including the Papua LNG and P'nyang gas development, which jointly will more than double current liquefied natural gas (LNG) producঞon capacity to around 18 million tonnes annually in the next five years; producঞon and export of condensate and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is projected to commence in 2021 from the Pasca field, PNG's first ofshore development in the Gulf of Papua; and the world- class Wafi-Golpu copper-gold project in Morobe Province which, if approved, an iniঞal capital investment is expected of approximately K9.1 billion, with total capital expenditure expected to be around K17.4 billion (US$5.4 billion) over the esঞmated 28-year life of the mine.

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