The National, Wednesday July 17th, 2013
THE state may commercially take over the development of the large Frieda River copper project, Mining Minister Byron Chan told Parliament yesterday.
Chan said the project, which was in Telefomin, West Sepik, had undergone various explorations and pre-feasibility studies over the years and the results had been positive.
But, he said the project remained undeveloped and the current consortium was dragging its feet.
The Government was contemplating increasing its shareholding in the project to take controlling interest, he said.
“The Government has expressed interest through the Public Enterprise and State Investment Minister Ben Micah to acquire more shares in Frieda. This position is now being investigated.
“The project has not been prioritised by the company because of current development in the world market but the government is aware and has support of MPs from the affected provinces of West and East Sepik to take the opportunity.
“It is on the market and the government is looking at taking over the project.
“Government has the expertise, knowledge and experience with finance and partners to do develop the Frieda River project.
He said the government needed an estimated K5 billion to K7 billion to develop the project which would cover costs for infrastructure such as ports and roads.