MOROBE Mining Joint Venture (MMJV), the operator of the newly commissioned Hidden Valley (HV) gold mine in the Wau-Bulolo district in the Morobe, will invest a total of K1.25 billion over a 10-year period.
The outlay will go partly to wages and salaries (K800 million), royalty payments (K200 million) and revenue for the provincial and national government (K250 million).
The Hidden Valley mine is projected to produce an estimated 2.9 million ounces of gold.
The mine was officially commissioned on Wednesday night by Governor General Sir Paulias Matane at a ceremony which also marked its opening.
The new gold project is a joint venture between South African miner Harmony Gold and Newcrest Mining Ltd, the largest gold miner in Asia-Pacific.
Harmony chief executive officer Graham Briggs told JV partners, government ministers, shareholders, landowner representatives and the media that MMJV was committed to further exploration and investment in the country particularly Morobe, which, in earlier times, was the source of most PNG’s gold production.
Briggs said PNG remained highly-prospective in modern mining era while recent exploration increased the prospect of a mining development at Wafi/Golpu also in Morobe.
“The mine has introduced and will continue to introduce innovation, quality mining technology and expertise,” Briggs said.
“A 4.5km overland ore conveyor is the most visible symbol of this innovative technology enabling separate ore bodies to be economically delivered to the processing mill.
“Extensive use of landowners and local business development contracts is already spreading economic benefits to the Wau/Bulolo region and elsewhere in the province,” Briggs said.