Worries raised over forex issues


FOREIGN exchange shortage in the country is having an effect on mineral exploration activities, according to the Mineral Resources Authority.
Roger Gunson, pictured, the regulatory operations executive manager, told the Papua New Guinea Mining and Petroleum Conference in Port Moresby last week that the forex issue was affecting businesses.
“The foreign exchange crisis is having a significant effect on doing business in Papua New Guinea which is impacting exploration because it is a capital cost with no cash flow,” he said.
Gunson said the issue could only be resolved by the Central Bank, Government and commercial banks.
Gunson said the Government must meet its regulatory, fiscal and social commitments to all relevant processes and projects in a timely and professional way.
“Legislative reforms must follow a path of genuine consultation, and all stakeholders must come to the table willing to compromise,” he said.
He said these were some of the issues facing the mining industry at the moment.
Gunson said approved mines under development included the Woodlark Mining Lease 508 was progressing towards its development phase.
Construction is expected to begin in the third quarter of next year, and production in first quarter of 2019.
He said Solwara 1’s Mining License 154 was undergoing wet testing in Port Moresby with production to begin in 2019.
“Frieda River Special Mining Lease 9 is under assessment with uncertainty around alternative options current proposal could be approved by Quarter 3 of 2018 subject to State agreements and Conservation and Environment Protection Authority permit.
“Wafi-Golpu Special Mining Lease 10 has its assessment on hold while awaiting further feasibility decisions by Wafi-Golpu joint
venture on alternative options expected by end of quarter one next year.
“It could be approved by 2019 subject to State agreements and CEPA permit.”