‘Govt scaring investors’

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OPPOSITION Leader Belden Namah says the Government is creating uncertainty and scaring both foreign investors and local businesses with its decision to nationalise the Porgera gold mine.
Namah urged Prime Minister James Marape to immediately name the next operator to replace Barrick Niugini Ltd at the mine in Enga.
“Marape must name the new operator of this world-class gold mine to allow for continuity and to assure workers, contractors and landowners that it will be business as usual and they have nothing to fear,” he said.
Namah said the Government’s refusal to extend Barrick’s application for a 20-year lease on its special mining lease was “nationalisation of the worst sort that will harm PNG in the long term.”
“That (decision) is inviting the onset of another crisis while we are already in the middle of one.
“He (Marape) is digging the economic hole deeper while his treasurer announces at the same time that PNG is in a recession.
“The signal he (Marape) sends to the investment community is wrong,” Namah said.
“The fundamentals to sustain the mine are missing.
“I see no companies lining up to take up where Barrick Niugini Ltd leaves off.
“I see no facts and figures on how the mine is going to be run in the immediate to medium term. “Marape has put out a vague hope that there will be an exit plan to value the assets, future management and operations of the mine as well as resettlement, environmental issues and tax liabilities.”
Namah said Barrick had no wish to discuss any transitional arrangement.
“The company has met with the prime minister four times.
“It has put up its proposals including to increase benefits to stakeholders by up to 50 per cent.
“It reports that there has been no response from the Government.”
Namah also questioned what would happened to the 3,600 employees and contractors following the suspension of the mine.
Barrick has paid K4.039 billion in taxes and K224 million in tax credit schemes and half a billion in royalties.
He said these were a significant lot of benefits and with plans to lift the mine to a tier one operation, it could only mean more and the Government needed to demonstrate that it had the capacity to do much more than Barrick had done.
Namah said the Government had made another hasty decision in the middle of a national state of emergency.
“The social environment around the Porgera mine has always been volatile and the deployment of just 100 soldiers to guard the mine will be insufficient if tension mounts over this decision,” he said.

12 comments

  • What major major mining activity does not come with environmental costs? Be realistic. You are living in a fantasy world if u think otherwise. U can only mitigate the impact, not eliminate

    • Nammah just bear in mind that this is take back png strategy so I hope you are not dreaming all this time. Enough of colonial acts overriding our future 45 years.

  • Dear Belden, I suggest we support the government and do it right and we’ll be happy tomorrow. Changes brings pain but we have to do it right and be happy tomorrow.

  • There is no need for opposition members to stand on the other side and point fingers to the government,for over 40 years PNG doesn’t see any tangible changes taking place from extracting our rich resources.Now is the time to start fight for the rights of the people of PNG as a true mendated leader who has a heart for his people,don’t stand there watching gready foreigner fill their pockets and goes away leaving us with nothing but porvety,prime minister do you job ”PNG is on your side” so lets work together and take back PNG before it is too late..

  • we are digging more holes go more deeper and deeper please thing before we do things or decisions for our
    good country Papua new guinea

  • MR Nama, government is not scaring investors but giving them heads up to fulfill their very commitment behave better in it’s operation.
    otherwise there’s no PNG own mining or petroleum industry so let’s have that skeletal remains first.

  • The term.of the current kining lease has expired so rightfully the government has the right to refuse extension of the mining lease. This is a common process excercise throughout the western world so there is nothing wrong with the government refusing to renew the permit for Barrick. It can advettise for new investors to apply if thst is the way it chooses or it can run the run by itself. That is the government prerogative.

  • PNG is more than 40 years old now and should already be in the better position do deal with issue in the mining sector basing on the past negative experiences, rather than saying “Yes Boss” all the time.I don’t see the PM as scaring the investors but using one of the government’s strategies to “TAKE BACK PNG to be economically independent”. Mr Nama I hope you are not blind to see what is happening in PNG’s mining sector…..so OPPOSITION ,Sampla time sapotim ol Government na tokim gutpela toktok na STRONGIM DISISEN bilong GAVAMAN too to show that you have concern for for this country.Bear in mind our Gold,Oil.Gas,Copper etc… are non-renewable.So long as we have our minerals investors will come.

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