Mining Minister explains Process: Pogera and Ramu Nico Mines

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By Meriba Tulo – EMTV News, Port Moresby

With efforts underway to review the Porgera Mining Lease, and renegotiation for expansion of the
Ramu Nickel project, Papua New Guinea Mining Minister, Johnson Tuke, provided some background to the efforts being
facilitated by the Mineral Resources Authority.
Whilst acknowledging the need to improve the level of benefits to landowners, Minister Tuke also called
for the proper processes to be respected by all stakeholders.

The Mining Minister today fronted the media to explain the process currently underway in preparation for a decision on the future of two mines in
the country:
the Porgera Mine in Enga Province, and
the Ramu Nico Project in Madang Province.
For the Porgera Gold Project, warden hearings began this week to gauge views from landowners on their thoughts about the project, including their opinions on the current mine operator.

This process, being facilitated by the Mineral Resources Authority, is in line
with the proper processes – something which Minister Tule was quick to
defend.
According to the Mining Minister, the line agencies under his responsibility will
ensure that the proper processes are followed.

Managing Director of Mineral Resources Authority, Jerry Garry, was also present and explained the process currently taking place in Porgera.
According to Mr Garry, the warden hearing is just the start of the whole process in reviewing the Mining Lease for the Porgera Project, and will form the basis of discussions leading to three high level agreements:
1. Mining Development Contract – between the project developer and
the State

2. Memorandum of Agreement – between all stakeholders through the
Development Forum and

3. Compensation Agreement – between the company and land-holders.

According to the head of the MRA, contrary to various reports and
commentaries, the MOA process has not started as yet – with the MRA to
ensure that the proper processes are followed

With the warden hearing now underway for Porgera, the Mining Department
Secretary has also reaffirmed that the State through an appointed “State
Negotiation Team” will be appointed to negotiate for benefits for the Porgera
Mine, with guidelines to be set by the National Executive Council.

The comments from the Mining Minister come amidst arguments for and
against the current Porgera Mine operator to continue when the Special
Mining Lease is reviewed.
Whilst there have been strong arguments on both sides, Minister Tuke has maintained that the decision on who will operate the mine when a decision on
the SML is made, will be the prerogative of the Government.

Meriba Tulo

is a Senior Reporter and Presenter and currently anchors Resource PNG as well as EMTV's daily National News.

Meriba Tulo