By Malum Nalu
The US$6 billion (about K18.7 billion) Wafi gold and copper mine in Morobe will begin work this year, says Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Charles Abel.
Wafi is one of the major resource projects that the ministerial economic committee, through the new national energy authority, will drive in the 25-point 100-day plan, others being the PNG LNG Project, Papua LNG Project and Western LNG.
“Early works (are set to begin) on the Wafi-Golpu US$6 billion gold and copper project over in Morobe,” Abel told NBC Talkback Radio yesterday.
“All they want is some assurance around fiscal stability that there’s to be no sudden changes to the fiscal regime.
“They are not asking for any concession.
“They just want to know that this is the regime and it will not be changing dramatically.
“They will begin early works this year.
“That early works includes digging down so that they can drive in under that ore body because it’s a block-cut mine where you cut from underneath.
“That’s going to involve spending of significant amounts of money.
“They’re just looking for some assurance.
“That money will be spent to create jobs and economic activity; going forward, a lot of revenue for the country also.”
Abel said the 100-day plan included bringing Wafi and other major resource projects online.
“There are a number of projects that we’ve been talking about for some time now,” he said.
“I’m just trying to focus down on them to get them across the line, stimulate investment, bring in jobs and create foreign exchange.
“They are private sector-driven projects, but they are also concessional financing and aid-type projects.
“We’ll run through and see which are the easy-win projects that we can bring across the line.”
By Malum Nalu