Firm keen on talking with State

Business

HARMONY Mining Ltd is keen to re-engage the state negotiating team at the earliest opportunity to secure a special mining lease (SML) for Wafi-Golpu gold and copper project in Morobe progresses.
In an address to the Denver Gold Forum Americas recently, Mining Weekly online reported that Harmony chief executive Peter Steenkamp had reiterated that Wafi-Golpu remained a potential game changer for the gold miner.
“We are encouraged by recent statements by the prime minister of Papua New Guinea that the Wafi-Golpu was a project of national priority to be urgently advanced,” he said.
Prime Minister James Marape during a recent Parliament sitting said the project would be a large-scale underground mining project and was ranked as a world-class copper-gold resource.
“This project is situated in Morobe, between Huon Gulf and Wau-Bulolo districts,” Marape said.
“The project is owned by Harmony Gold Mining Ltd and Newcrest Mining Ltd on a 50-50 shareholding basis.
“If the State decides to exercise its right to take 30 per cent equity, both companies will proportionately dilute their shareholding.”
Marape said the project would be developed in three stages over a total lifespan of 28 years at a cost of US$5.4 billion (K18.48b).
However, Marape also noted that a critical issue that the Government was concerned about was the project’s mine waste management plan, where deep sea tailing placement had been recommended.
“The State is having discussions with WGJV on why this has been proposed and the level of impact on the environment,” he said.
“Additionally, the Government is now finalising the fiscal and non-fiscal terms for negotiation consistent with the policy directive or mandates, with a view to signing the project agreement by the end of this month.”
Landowners from Wafi-Golpu project impact area of Babuaf and the Morobe government this week said they had agreed for a tailings dam to be built on land rather than to have waste from the mine dumped into the sea.
This was highlighted during signing of a memorandum of understand between the parties in Port Moresby.

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