Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Minister Byron delivers keynote address at the China mining conference and exhibition

Minister for Mining Byron Chan will deliver the keynote address at the Ministerial Forum session at the China Mining conference held in Tianjin, China on today.

Minister Chan will highlight the immense mineral and exploration prospects and opportunities in PNG and provide assurance to the investment conference that Papua New Guinea is a secure mineral investment destination.

“Asia and particularly China is having a profound impact on the way business is being conducted globally. This is where mining investment and exploration funds are sourced to develop the resource sector globally and I am leading a delegation from PNG to position ourselves to be able to attract these investment funds here at one of the largest international premier mining events worldwide”.

Minister Chan is also scheduled to hold bilateral discussions with his Chinese counterpart Minister for Natural Resources to discuss prospects for technical assistance and cooperation between China and PNG to further enhance the development of the mining and exploration sector through the exchange of knowledge, skills and technology.

The Minister is expected to witness the signing of the first of such technical cooperation between the China Geological Survey and the MRA Geological Survey. Among other cooperation activities, the MOU will allow for a comprehensive assessment of the mineral potential of PNG. This information is currently vague and once developed will no doubt enhance our understanding and appreciation of the country’s mineral potential.

The Minister will also update his Chinese counterpart on the operations of the Ramu nickel project and the opportunity to develop additional impact projects such as infrastructure to service both the mine and the Madang province as a whole.

The Oneil-Dion Government now has a full five year term and we are committed to enhancing the responsible development of PNGs exploration and mining sector.

As Minister responsible for Mining, I will be introducing amendments to Parliament on the reviews to the mineral policy and legislations to position PNG to be competitive globally in the mineral sector. Some of these changes will include the following –

1. Consideration to increase tenure of exploration licences to 3 or 5 year terms.
2. Introduction of mining retention licences to enable developers to apply for land that will be required for their purpose.
3. Expeditious processing of tenement applications within a specified time frame that will be internationally competitive.
4. Social mapping and landowner identification to be included as a legal requirement.
The Minister will also be introducing additional policy on relocation, offshore mining, coal seam methane and geothermal. Additionally, the Minister confirmed that further work is being done to improve outlook on fiscal provisions, equity, royalty and compensation.

Work is in progress on many of these additional policy initiatives to be delivered over the next 6-12 months.
This is the 3rd year in a row that the MRA has organized participation at the China mining conference and already there are indications that Chinese interest in the mineral sector in PNG is high evidenced by the number of official meetings that Hon Byron Chan has held since arriving in Tianjin over the last 2 days.
“Mining continues to be the driving force of the PNG economy and it is important that the government is out here at investment forums such as this to attract new investors into the mineral sector”.
Prior to China, Minister Chan also delivered a similar keynote address at the Ministerial forum for the Asia Indaba mining conference in Singapore which was held from October 29-31.
PC Online

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