Firm seeks to stay decision

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BARRICK Niugini Ltd (BNL) has asked the court to stay the Government’s decision not to renew the special mining lease and to restrain the State from registering the expiry of tenements.
The operator of the Porgera mine in Enga sought the orders in the National Court yesterday pending the determination of a substantive judicial review it is seeking on that decision which is scheduled to be heard on July 28.
It is arguing that the State overlooked its rights in the mining development contract signed on May 12, 1989 when it refused to renew the licence this year.
BNL lawyer Derek Wood of Ashurst Lawyers submitted that the purpose of the stay and restraining orders was to allow the company to remain at the mine.
Wood told the court that the operator needed to look after the mine site, protect and secure assets, ensure that the environment is in safe condition and placing the mine in care and maintenance pending the determination of the judicial review.
However, Mineral Resources Authority lawyer Nelson Saroa told the court that the mining development contract referred to by Wood did not provide a right for renewal of the special mining lease when it expired.
Solicitor-General Tauvasa Tanuvasa also said the decision had already been gazetted by the Governor-General and registered by the Registrar of Tenements.
“The interim relief sought by BNL is unnecessary because the safety, care and maintenance of the mine site is already taken care of in Clause 19 of the mining development contract,” Tanuvasa said.
“Clause 19 allows the Porgera joint venture access to the mine site for a one-year period following the (mining lease) expiry date. This is “transition period.”
Deputy Chief Justice Ambeng Kandakasi dismissed an application by BNL to amend its statement on the substantive review.
BNL claimed that wordings on the gazetted notice and the Cabinet decision did not correspond.
Kandakasi however, ruled that this was an inconsequential issue which the State could take care of.
He will make a ruling on the stay application at a date to be advised.

8 comments

  • BNL started to pay off its laid off employees without even complying with states request per clause 19 of the Mining act but they refused and hideously wanted to play smart by laying off its 2000+ committed and faithful employees that have contributed over the last 30+ years to make them Billions.
    Their dirty strategies were to do that so that the decision in itself will cause 2000+ and nation to rise up against the government hence creating a massive social unrest that will break this country down with already huge economic debts in 30+ billions compounded with covid 19 pandemic and other issues currently faced around the country.
    Our court systems should be looking at all these areas where negligence and disrespect for employees employment conditions have been overlooked by BNL because of Greed, cruelty etc and have BNL punished severely.

  • Who gives you the right to invade PNG abuse us, our resources, make your billions, giving us toeas or rubbish and now you challenge our government!

    Take PNG back- we can run our own affairs, we don’t expatriates to run our country. All developed countries are running out of natural resources and now bullying smaller nations to abide by their tactics. Well tides have changed, we will control all resources, prices and who we trade with.
    Fuck off if you don’t like that, go make a deal elsewhere.

  • PNG is a very expensive country…. infact we cannot run our own country, we are very corrupt people, we have no money to run such operations ourself.

  • Thanks QBP, your point is right – we are an expensive country, especially the imported things, once comes through the customs and lot of charges build into the cost of goods. yes we are corrupt in making dealings in any businesses that is going on as one wants to feed his/her own desire and lusts BUT lets us all try now to run our own operation here in our country if only we put our ideas and thoughts together as one people, one country PNG and do take a step forward.

  • PMJM should now come out and give us the updates of his plan regarding this issue, we are in total confusion and making so many comments.Over to you PMJM.

  • I think PMJM is keeping up to his words “TAKE BACK PNG”. Taking back our resources from foreign invaders is what the people of this resource rich nation wants.

    Take it back and lets develop our own nation before its too late.

  • The gap between mining and manufacturing (Downstream).

    The result of this restricted role of mining is a large gap between mining and manufacturing to the detriment of both sectors and to the national economy. Manufacturing has been subjected to extraordinarily high prices for raw material inputs such as steel, making our manufacturers noncompetitive internationally and even in the home market. The value chain and linkages so necessary for efficient and competitive production of finished goods have been seriously undermined. So has the flexibility of production needed to cope with shifts in global supply and demand, due to rigidity arising from the separation of the production of minerals and manufacturing.

    The pros and cons
    This separation should strongly supported by the government and to argues that mining is driven by inherited comparative advantages, such as mineral deposits or natural beauty, while manufacturing depends on competitive advantages. They emphasis that a mineral resource endowment does not necessarily translate into manufacturing benefication. Furthermore, the mining industry should not be required to subsidize manufacturing beatification or to provide minerals below internationally determined prices.

    In practice, this means that local (PNG) manufacturers have to pay import parity prices to the mining companies ­– i.e. the same price paid by overseas manufacturers – which ensures that our manufacturers are not competitive. When this difficulty is added to the problem posed by cheap manufactured goods from China and other Asian’s markets, our local (PNG) manufacturing operates on a very uneven playing field. Its only hope is to find niche markets where its specialized products may find space.

    The isolation of mining from the total industrial value chain also has consequences for labour policy. If BNL is now proposing to displace 2,000 plus workers from mining into other activities. But what broad training have they been given to enable them to switch to other jobs, especially in manufacturing ? These workers have been confined to mines, so what skills could a rock driller bring to a production line in a factory?

    Bridging the gap with beneficiation

    The mining industry has substantial multiplier effects on the rest of the economy, but it could contribute even more to the development of other enterprises. We (PNG Government) need to take a hard look at the potential for downstream processes if the country (PNG) is to benefit from these enviable mineral resources. The export of raw mineral resources has been steadily rising over the past decade.

    The PNG Government to develop a beneficiation strategy for the minerals sector (1), arguing in essence that it is possible to industrialize by leveraging natural resources, with the government driving beneficiation. Noting that the composition of PNG with most parts of the world is characterized by the export of raw materials and the import of manufactured goods, it defined beneficiation as entailing the transformation of a mineral (or combination of minerals) to a higher value product, which can either be consumed locally or exported. The term is used interchangeably with ‘value addition’ . The document called for a paradigm shift in mineral development and sought to advance development through the optimization of linkages in the mineral value chain, facilitating economic diversification, job creation and industrialization. However, the mining industry remains geared towards export orientation of raw material, with the bulk of current producers bolted in long term contracts with their international clients. This is the pattern PNG is tied up with at the moment and is leading to calls for “resource nationalism” to ensure greater benefits from natural resources.

    As mentioned above, the government (The Department of Mineral Resource) rejected many of these provisions on the grounds that mining is a specialized activity quite distinct from manufacturing. This highly questionable position serves to reinforce the enclave character of mining, with its high levels of foreign ownership and orientation towards the export of raw ore.

    The Government with this new approved amendment law to the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act that gave effect to its constitutional obligation to ensure that the nation’s minerals are developed in an orderly manner while promoting justifiable social and economic development. The main components the Government of PNG should emphasis more strongly is to provide for the implementation of the approved beneficiation strategy through which minerals can be processed locally for a higher value, and for mineral rights to fall within the insolvent estate in the event that a company is liquidated. It will also strengthen the provisions relating to cession, transfer of rights etc, in order to permit the partitioning of rights. and regulate the exploitation of associated minerals.

    The case for an increased role for manufacturing in the beneficiation of minerals is therefore compelling. This role would seem to be primarily suited to domestically based firms located within the mining value chain. Such firms are more sensitive to national interests and more likely to co-operate with government requirements in terms of producing for the domestic market, keeping economic rents under control, complying with tax rules, employing local rather than foreign managers and technical staff (where available) and taking account of the social impact of their activities.

    The benefits of beneficiation are: job creation, contribution to skills enhancement, diversifying the economy and moving away from a primary producer status towards manufacturing-based industrialization, increasing foreign direct investment, turning the comparative advantages of being resource-rich into a competitive advantage, small and medium enterprise creation etc…

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