In brief: Freeport to acquire assets in Papua New Guinea and other business stories


Potential new owner for the Yandera copper project, proposed levy on balsa wood exports and flights to Wapenamanda to resume. Your business news in brief.


The Yandera Copper Project in Madang Province has a potential new owner – Canadian mineral exploration company, Freeport Resources Inc.

The definitive share purchase agreement between Freeport and Carpo Resources Inc (which owns the exploration lease holder to Yandera, Era Resources), was dated 25 June and is subject to the approval of the TSX Venture Exchange. Once approved, Yandera will be added to Freeport’s flagship project in PNG: the Star Mountains copper and gold project. (Freeport Resources Inc)


The Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Timothy Masiu, reportedly said that the draft of the Digital Government Bill has been completed and that he is ‘looking forward to introducing the Bill to Parliament in August.’ (The National)


The first harvest of the Moyalo Katagu rice farm in Lower Bena in Eastern Highlands Project has produced about 45 20kg bags of organic rice that are expected to be packaged and sold throughout PNG. The Moyalo Katagu Coordinator Hatie Komina said the second harvest is expected in the next six months.  (The National)


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The Jiwaka citrus industry is set to get a boost. About K1 million from the Fresh Produce Development Agency and another K1 million in support from the Agriculture Price Support and Intervention Program will be used to help growers in the area.

‘We are assisting small farmers who are growing [citrus], we are giving them K20,000, K30,000 to maintain their citrus or increase planting.

‘If we want to meet domestic market demands and for important replacement, we need to increase planting to sustain domestic market demand,’ said Department of Agriculture and Livestock Secretary Daniel Kombuk.

It has been reported that City Pharmacy and Innovative Agro Industries are wanting to buy citrus from Jiwaka, where thousands of hybrid citrus fruit have been planted since 2019. (The National)


Last week in Wabag, during the Joint Supervisory Board meeting between Bougainville and the PNG government, the Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources, Dr Tom Lino, presented a K5 million cheque to Bougainville. He reportedly said that the National Fisheries Authority will continue to ‘provide annual funding’ for Bougainville’s fisheries sector until  ‘fisheries revenue sharing formula is agreed on by the both governments.’ (The National)


Jelta Wong, Health Minister and Gazelle MP, is calling on the government to consider a 45 per cent levy on export volume on balsa wood. He made the comment because it is not clear whether foreign balsa wood companies are complying with PNG laws. Wong also mentioned that the current export value of a 40-foot container of balsa wood is between K4 and K5 million but that ‘virtually no tax whatsoever’ is paid to the provincial government.

‘We need urgent clarification on whether or not Log Export Development Levy is applied on export shipment of balsa wood from PNG in the same way as forest harvest logs and plantation hard wood like teak and kumarere,’ Wong said. (Post-Courier)


A supplementary agreement for the Sustainable Highlands Highway Investment Program, which is jointly funded by the state and the Asian Development Bank, was signed between Pyunghwa Engineering Consultants Limited and the Metallurgical Corporation of China Ltd to continue work on the highway and roads improvement plan. According to LOOP PNG, the supplementary agreement saw an increase in the size of both contracts. (LOOP PNG)


Gordons Plaza

Credit: Brian Bell

PNG-owned retailer Brian Bell Group has announced the acquisition of its first overseas investment: the digital service business Orange Digital, which is based in Brisbane, Australia. (Brian Bell Group)


The National Airports Corporation has completed upgrade works to the runway of Wapenamanda, Enga Province. Air Niugini subsidiary  Link PNG will resume flights to Wapenamanda on 18 July. The airline will offer three weekly direct flights between Port Moresby and Wapenamanda. (Air Niugini)



  1. Jeoffrey says

    How much will it cost for 1000 balsa wood planted and harvested?

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