Mineral exports expected to do well

Business

REVENUE generated this year from mineral exports is expected to exceed last year’s figures, says managing director of the Mineral Resource Authority (MRA) Philip Samar.
Samar, said 2015 represented a low point attributable to the current depressed mineral commodity, with total revenue falling to K7.192 billion.
“This may be contrasted to 2016 forecast, based on actual export data to July 2016, of in excess of K8.2 billion,” he said.
He said factors accounted for this turnaround included higher gold prices.
Gold accounts for 85 per cent of mining revenue and has remained above US$1300 (K4186) an ounce for the whole of 2016.
He also attributed it to the higher production from the Lihir mine, in New Ireland, and the resumption of gold and copper exports from the Ok Tedi mine, in Western, beginning in March this year.
Samar said figures for 2016 indicated that the total number of
tenements indicated increased tenement activities increasing between January and August 2016 from 507 to 543 (a 7 per cent increase).
“This can be contrasted to total tenement applications in 2015 at 128 compared to a forecast of 170+ this year, which would represent
a 32.8 per cent increase,” Samar said.
He said this was consistent with new and renewal applications and overall active tenements all increasing the previous year.
“This is indicative of a slow lift off the bottom of the cycle, although the situation will always be subject to some volatility, caused by external international events that have influences outside PNG’s control,” he said.
He said exploration expenditure had seen a significant drop from 2013 (K595.7 million) to maintain a reasonably steady state of expenditure of around K350 million in the past three years.

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