In brief: Construction phase of Panguna mine to cost US$4-6 billion, and other business stories

Bougainville Copper Ltd says Panguna mine could be operational by 2025-26, foreign exchange injection this week, and Tolukuma gold mine may restart by year’s end. Your weekly digest of the latest business news.

Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) Company Secretary Mark Hitchcock has told a tax summit in Buka the construction phase of a renewed Panguna copper mine would cost an estimated US$4-6 billion. He said a realistic timeline for the Panguna project would see the mine operational around 2025-26. He also highlighted the need for certainty in relation to the tax regime that would apply to the Panguna project and warned that excessive tax imposts would undermine its viability.

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The national government has announced measures to address the ongoing foreign exchange shortage on the domestic market and to secure tax identification numbers for businesses and individuals. Treasury Minister Charles Abel says a US$100million (K320.2million) foreign exchange injection will be made this week.

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The MRA’s Philip Samar. Credit: Post-Courier

Mineral Resources Authority Managing Director Philip Samar, says he expects the Tolukuma Gold mine to restart by the end of 2017, after Asidokona Mining Resources signed up a new joint venture partner.

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Ramu NiCo management revealed it is facing a huge unspecified deficit in its nickel and cobalt mining operations, in Madang Province. Company Vice-President Wang Baowen said this was offset by lower metal market prices forcing them to take cost savings and control measures in their operations.

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All government services and businesses were closed in Mendi township on Monday, after a rampaging crowd killed two police officers and attacked Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s official vehicle and business interests, in election-related violence. The Post-Courier reports construction and mining logistics company Wildcat Construction’s base was looted and torched, while South West Air’s hangar was ransacked. Air Niugini and South West Air, which lost computers and aircraft parts, have closed their operations for an indefinite period.

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Works Secretary David Wereh says the closure of the Kainantu Road in Eastern Highlands since Sunday by disgruntled landowners demanding K300 million is illegal and amounts to criminal activity. The National Road Transport Association president, Jacob Luke, said the national highways should not be a place to bring grievances in order to attract or lure concerned authorities, as is currently the practice.

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East Sepik Governor Allan Bird has called on the government to review the allocation of funds for the inspection of the Coffee Berry Borer in the Highlands region. The government has allocated K5 million in its supplementary budget to deal with the disease.

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The Queen Emma Chocolate Company is sending a small shipment of half a tonne its products to Sydney, Australia, this week. General Manager Karina Makori says it is a small start but may will grow into something bigger.

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The Lae Biscuit Company will open a new production plant in Lae this week. Chairman Ian Chow said the plant cost more than K100 million. He said the new factory will have the capacity to run three production lines simultaneously, producing 70 tonnes of biscuits daily.

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A new four-kilometre K80 million road has opened in Port Moresby. It is the third road project that has been constructed to ease the traffic congestion in the city.  Koura Way Road links the suburb of Tokarara and Hanuabada village, and according to Works Minister Michael Nali, brings to K2 billion in total the amount invested by the Government in NCD including all sports stadiums, the Jackson International Airport-Waigani flyover and other infrastructure.

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Closeup of microbeads. Credit: MPCA Photos

The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program says Pacific people are more affected by microbead plastics in the marine food chain than other populations. Pollution Advisor Anthony Talouli says Pacific people eat four times more fish than the global average and the plastic ingested by fish in the Pacific had been measured at 30 per cent higher than elsewhere.

Talouli said if nothing is done some projections show by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean.

 

 

Comments

  1. Phillip S. Glanville says:

    In the 1970s, I used to work at The Lae Biscuit Company!

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