Mine waits for restructure

Business

By GYNNIE KERO
WORK on Nautilus’ proposed seabed mining project in New Ireland will not begin until the firm concludes its restructure exercise, according to the Mineral Resources Authority.
Providing an update on the deep sea project, managing director Jerry Garry told The National that the company (operator) was undergoing restructure.
“They have advised us to vary the existing mining lease and we have asked them for some relevant information and schedule and when they are likely to conclude the restructuring exercise and when they are likely to raise the capital to commence work. So we are still dealing with the variation application.”
Garry explained that a variation application “is when they (miners) submit a plan to develop a project and if they are unable to meet the deadline or significant changes to the original plan, then they will advise MRA to seek variation”.
“The variation application is still being considered by the council (mining advisory council). As far as the project (Solwara 1) is concerned, there will be no activity until the restructuring exercise is concluded,” he said.
On the lease extension of the Porgera mine in Enga, Garry said: “Porgera (mine) is in the final stages. The State negotiating team (SNT) has submitted options for the National Executive Council to deliberate on the mining development contract with the operator, Barrick and Zinjin. So we are still waiting for NEC to make a determination.”
Earlier, the Mineral Resources Authority received an application from Barrick seeking an extension of the Special Mining Lease for another 20 years.
The current lease was granted to the developer on Aug 17, 1989. It expired in Aug 16 this year

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