Cabinet endorses geothermal resource policy, says Tuke


THE National Executive Council (NEC) last Thursday endorsed the geothermal resource policy, according to Mining Minister Johnson Tuke.
Tuke, in a newspaper advertisement yesterday, said the mining ministry aimed to diversify the country’s mineral base, apart from the traditional minerals currently being mined.
“Papua New Guinea is located within the ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’ where tectonic plate movements and associated seismic activity occur frequently especially within the Northern zone which extends from Madang to New Britain, New Ireland and Bougainville, and the Southern zone which extends from Mt Lamington in Northern to Milne Bay,” Tuke said.
“These areas have been identified as areas having the potential for geothermal resources extraction and development.”
Tuke said geothermal resources in PNG mostly occur in isolated locations, remote from large population centers and the potential exists for the use of geothermal resources not only for electricity generation as an alternative clean energy source, but for a range of activities such as for direct heat applications and also for the development of tourism attractions based on the existence of surface geothermal features.
Tuke also noted that the endorsement of the policy would enable the State to administer the licensing of exploration and development of geothermal resources within identified geothermal spots.
“There is growing interest in geothermal resource exploitation.
“This policy guidance is necessary to ensure we develop our resources in responsible and sustainable manner to maximise the benefits fairly for our citizens as enshrined in our National Constitution.
“Apart from New Zealand and Hawaii in the USA, PNG is the only nation within the Pacific Island region in terms of harvesting the geothermal resources as evident in the Lihir gold mine operations which is sanctioned under the Lihir gold project mining development contract with regards to its use of geothermal energy to supply electricity to its gold processing plant,” he said.