In brief: Details of US$500m Credit Suisse loan to Papua New Guinea revealed, and other business stories

Treasury Minister outlines details of US$500 million loan deal, World Bank commends 2018 Budget, crucial meeting over the future of BCL’s exploration licence. Your weekly digest of the latest business news.

Treasury Minister Charles Abel has outlined details of the US$500 million loan agreement between the government and Credit Suisse bank, which will see the last tranche of US$190 million released, when legislative requirements are met.

Abel said the initial US$310 million loan was used to finance the national bridge program, national highways, APEC-related infrastructure, NCD roads, the Waigani Court House refurbishment, police housing and infrastructure and election-related infrastructure.

There would also be allocations for provincial and district Support Improvement Programs, local level government (K100,000), the national broadband network, Port Moresby grid development, PNG towns electrification investment project, and transmission lines’ upgrade.

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The World Bank’s Michel Kerf.

Visiting World Bank executives have commended the PNG Government for a ‘very good’ 2018 Budget, which was passed last week. Country Director for PNG, Michel Kerf, said they were encouraged by the vision that the national government had put forward in the Budget. Meanwhile, the UN Resident Coordinator, Roy Trivedy, has said only 40 per cent of PNG’s recent Budgets have been spent.

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The Autonomous Bougainville Government is holding a crucial mining warden’s hearing this week, which will help determine if Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) should have its exploration licence for the Panguna copper mine site extended. Perth-based junior miner, RTG has claimed BCL does not have exploration licence rights, but in a statement to Business Advantage PNG, BCL maintains its application is valid, ‘as confirmed by the Department of Mining … the tenure afforded by the exploration licence (EL1) was deemed to be extended until the application for renewal has been determined (under the Mining Act)’.

Bougainville’s Mining Secretary Shadrach Himata told the ABC that BCL is the only company currently being considered by the Bougainville Government.

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The  2018 National budget has directed the National Fisheries Authority to pay K400 million (US$124 million) in dividends to the PNG Government in 2018, reports EMTV. It provided K150 million (US$46.7 million) in previous years.

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Wafi Camp

The Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture has secured the exclusive rights for a portion of the Lae wharfage area to stockpile and dewater concentrate from its mine in the Morobe Province, reports The Post Courier. The agreement was reached with PNG Ports Corporation Limited which will also allow easy access for export shipments.

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Gulf Governor, Chris Haiveta, has signed an MOU with Mayur Resources, giving it a licence for a ‘vertically integrated resource, energy and industrial complex’ in Gulf Province. The resources include iron sands, zircon, ilmenite, coal and high grade silica sands.

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Ipili Wanda Investment (IWI) Limited, the business arm of the Porgera District Women’s Association, has secured another contract with the Porgera Joint Venture to support its business aspirations. IWI presented a new Caterpillar 140K Motor Grader to the Porgera Mine’s Underground Mining Department to support its operations.

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Fabian Chow. Credit: Malum Nalu

The Treasurer of the Fishing Industry Association of PNG, Fabian Chow, says the PMIZ project is ‘going nowhere fast’ unless the government speaks to the right people. In Manila at the 14th Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, the association head said the project has the potential to compete with fisheries-rich nations like Philippines and Vietnam, but a lack of dialogue with stakeholders is holding up progress.

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The largest smallholder coffee growers’ cooperative in the Highlands region has applauded the government for allocating K665.9 million towards agriculture in the 2018 Budget. Apo Angra Angna Kange (AAAK) Coffee Cooperative General Manager Brian Kuglame told The National, the allocation was a vote of confidence in the agriculture and economic sector.

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