Govt establishes gold refinery


A GOLD refinery and mint facility will be built in Papua New Guinea for the first time and is expected to be commissioned in 2025, generating billions of kina in revenue, Prime Minister James Marape says.
This follows the signing of a project agreement between the State and Refinery Holdings Ltd at Government House in Port Moresby on Friday.
Marape said it was a milestone achievement for the country and would allow it to have greater control over resources and retention of economic benefits.
“The National Gold Refinery will have an estimated initial US$4 billion (about K14 billion) per annum gold throughput, and more as gold production increases, every year for decades to come,” he said.
The Prime Minister said up to 200 new jobs would be created during the construction phase of the refining and minting facilities on land leased within the LNG and Petroleum Park, and at Jackson International Airport.
“There will be up 350 new tertiary level jobs in the operational phase and there will be significant training and skills transfer to local employees for decades to come.
“The project starts today and will establish a downstream processing and value-adding industry for gold, one of the country’s most-valuable natural resource exports,” he said.
“The project will put PNG on the world gold map, so it is rightfully recognised in both gold mining and gold refining industries, and in global precious metals and financial markets, as one of the world’s most-important gold-producing countries.”
Marape said downstream processing of natural resources in PNG, including gold, forestry and fisheries, was the key to PNG’s economic future and employment opportunities for citizens and was a key policy of his government.
“Until now, all the economic and social benefits from refining and value-adding to PNG’s gold have been exported to foreign refineries and for the benefit of other countries.
“The project will ensure that we account for all gold produced in PNG and export out finished products for companies and individuals who are in the gold industry.”
Marape said for the first time all the profits, taxes, new US dollar foreign exchange inflows, employment and related benefits from the refining of gold and precious metals would stay in PNG.
Marape said the project would establish four new world-class businesses in PNG:

  • A NATIONAL gold refinery to refine all of PNG’s gold and precious metals and produce international standard gold and silver bullion bars;
  • A NATIONAL mint to produce PNG’s currency in-country and the new national Bird of Paradise legal tender and investment grade gold and precious metal currency coins;
  • A NATIONAL gold bank to provide dedicated gold and precious metal banking and trading services to the PNG gold mining industry; and,
  • A NATIONAL gold market to market PNG gold and precious metals, and our value-added bullion bars, investment coins and other products global investors.

He said the State was an equal joint venture equity partner in the project from commencement where 30 per cent of the State’s interest would be passed to local alluvial miners and landowner companies.
“The State also has the right to buy a majority or total control of the project at a time into the future as defined in the project agreement with Refinery Holdings who are partners in this project,” he said.
“Refinery Holdings will be the project manager, operator and financier of the project until the State decides to buy control.”
He said the National Gold Corporation would pay full corporate taxes.