Continued success of projects critical, says Aopi

Business

THE PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum says that continued success of existing projects and development of new ones is critical to the future of the country.
President Gerea Aopi says any significant delay in renewal and extension of mining licences for the country’s biggest producing mines would have a detrimental effect on the nation’s economy.
Aopi said this following reports that projects such as Porgera, Ok Tedi and Ramu Nickel may not have their leases extended.
“Security of tenure and continuation of mining leases is essential if we want investors to spend billions of kina in our country,” he said.
“Delays and uncertainty about mining leases could cause major interruptions to some of the big mines, and discourage any new investors.”
Aopi said the chamber and its members were keen to work with Government to ensure that PNG’s investment climate for resource projects remained attractive,
He said this would underwrite a strong growing economy and increased prosperity for the people.
Aopi said the industry was concerned that mineral exploration activity in PNG had fallen significantly in the past six years even though global exploration had experienced a significant upturn since 2016.
“With this decline in exploration, any uncertainty about renewal of mining licences would have an impact on the country’s economy, and also send international investors the wrong signal,” he said.
“(This is) particularly at a time when the World Bank, through its PNG Economic Update released this month, projected a positive rebound in the country’s real gross domestic product (GDP) to 5 per cent this year on the back of upcoming major resource projects.”

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