The National – Monday, December 20, 2010
By PATRICK TALU
A DISCOVERY of high grade gold deposits in the Jimi Valley could sustain Jiwaka and supplement its agricultural based-economy.
The discovery was made three years back from alluvial mining by Damba Gold Ltd (DGL), a local mining and exploration consultancy firm based in Banz, North Wayla..
DGL managing director Michael Konga Siwi told The National last Friday that gold samples mined and tested and analysed by Golau Pty Ltd in Lae showed 92.3% pure gold.
An airborne geophysical survey and the geological mapping and mineral potential assessment (Geomap) of the PNG highlands done by the Mineral Resources Authority recently confirmed the huge mineral deposits in the current prospect areas.
Siwi said it was a huge gold deposit from eight different prospect areas and had the potential to transform Jiwaka region and the country if the project became a reality.
He said the gold prospect was located at Yeme Damb area of Upper Jimi and 40km west of current Yandera gold and copper project in Madang.
Siwi said many Jiwakans should not worry about not having natural resources to enhance the new province’s economy.
“Jiwaka has been proposed to be an agricultural based province given the fertile Waghi and Jimi Valley that produce PNG coffee and tea, but now that we have a 92.3% pure gold deposit, we can build the economy and be competitive,” Siwi said.
He said the discovery was made 18 years back but no one took the initiative to pursue and bring in mining and exploration companies until he decided to do so.
“I have been mobilising landowners of Yeme Damb gold prospect area for the past three years to seriously bring in a mining and exploration company.
“We did many tests and sample analysis to test its purity and we have confirmed 92.3% plus to warrant a gold mine in Jimi,” Siwi said.
He also said the Jiwaka Transitional Authority (JTA) had endorsed DGL to further negotiate to bring in a potential developer to mine the gold prospect.
JTA chairman Philip Kapal said: “We are ready for investors to come with funds for a large scale gold mining industrial development.
“We have commercially harvestable gold deposits and we need to invest for its enjoyable benefits in all win-win scenarios,” Kapal said.
Siwi is currently in talks with potential developers to obtain an exploration and mining licence from MRA.
The authority could not be contacted for comments.