Mining Minister Johnson Tuke will open a forum in Morobe tomorrow to discuss the Wafi-Golpu Project.
Concerned parties were expected to share views and ideas to push the project forward since the formal application by Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture Partners was initiated last year.
“I am prepared to recommend to the Head of State (Governor-General) to grant the development licence once the State is satisfied with all relevant and necessary steps taken to comfortably and confidently convince the national Government,” Tuke said.
“I am informed the State is currently putting together a set of conditions for the development licence.”
He said that from the Government’s standpoint, the benefits streams it normally offered to the province, including project area landowners and local level governments, were governed by laws, policies and practices.
Tuke said some benefit streams like equity participation, for instance, were regulated by law so there may be no room to follow any past practice.
He appealed to all the stakeholders to be reasonable in pressing their positions in this regard.
Apart from giving confidence to other international investors interested in PNG, the Wafi-Golpu Project, a fully underground mining project, will prove significant for the country and the global community as it boosts the PNG economy and foreign exchange.
According to Tuke, the Wafi-Golpu copper/gold project under the guidance of the Government and the National Executive Council would be offering a number of benefit streams predicated on a number of factors such as:
- Benefits to reflect the level of impact on project;
- Benefits to reflect level of development in project area;
- Benefits to aim to achieve fair distribution to all affected by project; and
- Benefits distribution to reflect existing policies, laws and practices.
“The Government has a duty to this country and its people to have this project approved as a matter of national importance and global interest,” Tuke said. “No amount of rhetoric will give comfort to our people, unless we demonstrate our commitment by our actions.
“The O’Neill-Abel Government wants to see the permitting and development of this project during their term of Parliament.”
He said that people should understand that this was just the beginning of the consultation forum and it would lead to benefit sharing agreements once approved by the NEC.
Tuke encouraged all project stakeholders to work together to progress all aspects of the Wafi-Golpu Project in the shortest time possible in order to realise its benefits.
It has been 30 years since the first discovery of mineral resources at Wafi-Golpu.