The National, Thursday, May 26th 2011
THE Mining Department will review all its legislation, Mining Minister John Pundari said in parliament yesterday.
Pundari was responding to a series of questions from Kerema MP Pitom Bombom on mining exploration licences and mining legislation.
Bombom said the rate of exploration for mineral resources in recent years had been so rapid that it outpaced and outstripped government capacity at all levels to properly regulate, control, monitor and manage those developments to ensure the people received maximum benefits.
He said mineral exploration covered almost the entire country, with development licences being granted under the special mining lease category for more than 30 years since independence.
Pundari said it was true PNG was covered by exploration licences which the Mineral Resources Authority was responsible for monitoring, regulating and controlling.
He said in order to create a good playing field, the Mining Department was in the process of reviewing the legislation and policies so that Papua New Guineans participated meaningfully in the industry.
Pundari said he wanted to see PNG’s first gold refinery.
He said through the refinery, many jobs “will be created while the economic benefits will be greater”.
“But the onus is on the leaders to seriously make laws and support to make our own companies flourish in the mining sector,” the minister said.
He said the economic decision by Mineral Resources Enga to sell its shares in Porgera gold mine
was respected and he had given the clearance for the sale to take place.