In brief: good news for Wafi-Golpu and other business stories

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Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture partners receive ‘green light’ to engage in discussions with the State of Papua New Guinea, petroleum licences owe over K10 million and Gerehu to NiuPower gas plant transmission lines completed. The business news you need to kick-start your week.

The view over the Wafi-Golpu project area. Credit: Newcrest Mining

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The National Court in Lae has lifted the injunction that restricted Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture (WGJV) partners, Newcrest Mining and Harmony Gold, from engaging in discussion with the PNG state. Newcrest representatives said in a statement: ‘This follows the PNG Minister for Mining recently advising the WGJV partners that the State of PNG had withdrawn its support for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and instructed its lawyers to take steps to set aside the stay order and terminate the judicial review proceeding.’ (Business Advantage PNG)

In an another statement, the Managing Director of the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA), Jerry Garry, welcomed the National Court’s decision to dismiss the review proceedings between the State and the Governor of Morobe Province, and uplift Wafi-Golpu’s injunction. He said the MRA looks forward to ‘completing the landowner formalisation process, re-engage in the development forum process to discuss benefit-sharing arrangements, and conclude the Special Mining Lease permitting process’.

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Last week, Newcrest Mining also released its half year results FY20. Besides highlighting the aforementioned news in relation to Wafi-Golpu, the company declared a statutory profit of US$236 million (K817 million) and an underlying profit of $280 million (K970 million), 18 per cent higher that the prior period. Lihir’s gold production, however, was 12 per cent lower that the previous period. (Newcrest)

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The new Secretary for the Department of Petroleum and Energy, David Manau, and the outgoing Secretary, Lohial Nuau, have disclosed that 71 petroleum prospecting licenses haven’t fulfilled all their payment obligations. Nuau reportedly said: ‘Based on the due diligence carried out by our licencing section of the department, the defaulters owe the state approximately K10 million. Plus an excess of K4 million that needs to be recouped from past defaulters.’

Manau has said that the Department of Petroleum and Energy has undertaken a review of all the licences operating in the country. (Post-Courier)

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Horizon Oil’s drill rig at Ketu-2 in Western Province. Credit: Horizon Oil

Horizon Oil, an ASX-listed oil and gas exploration, development and production company, has established an Independent Board Committee to oversee corruption investigations in response to an article about alleged A$15 million (K35 million) payments to a shell company in PNG nine years ago.

Michael Sheridan has been suspended as Horizon Oil’s CEO and Chris Hodge, the company’s Non-Executive Director, will serve as Acting Chief Executive Officer. The company has also committed to cooperating with the Australian Federal Police in any matters of the investigation. (Horizon Oil)

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The Western provincial government has received its second dividend payment from Ok Tedi Mine. The K6.48 million payment will be shared between the Fly River Provincial Government and the North, Middle, and South Fly districts. (Post-Courier)

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The Department of Petroleum and Energy has been under the spotlight recently, and Minister Kerenga Kua has set out 13 key performance indicators (KPIs) for the Department. According to Post-Courier, these are:

  • P’nyang negotiations and signing
  • Organic Law on Oil and Gas reform
  • New energy authority
  • Legacy issues
  • New DPE office space
  • Review of the Konebada Petroleum Park
  • Review of the Unconventional Hydrocarbons Act 2015
  • The negotiating and signing of the Pasca Gas Agreement
  • The drilling of Petroleum Prospect Licence 576 (Total)
  • The repealing and re-legislating of Papua LNG-related legislations (Total)
  • An internal review of the Stanley Gas Agreement, and
  • A review of the National Petroleum Authority and licence compliance.

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Law & order

Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption Conference in Kiribati. Credit: Annika Wythes/Twitter

The inaugural Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption Conference took place last week in Kiribati. The meeting was in line with the national commitments to the UN Convention Against Corruption. After the event, Pacific leaders released the document Teieniwa Vision, a statement that calls for unity in the region against corruption, recognising ‘that all of our progress and aspirations for a peaceful, harmonious and prosperous Pacific cannot be realised unless we address corruption.’ (RNZ)

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Prime Minister James Marape, during a Parliamentary session, said that he wouldn’t stop the progression of the report and/or investigations into the UBS loan transaction. It is reported that Marape, the former Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, Issac Lupari, ex Treasurer Dairi Vele, Kumul Petroleum’s Managing Director, Wapu Sonk, and other prominent figures have been linked to the K3 billion transaction. (NBC News)

Aviation

PNG Air’s CEO, Paul Abbot [left], and ATR’s CEO Stefano Bortoli. Credit: Ain Online

During the Singapore Airshow, PNG Air signed a deal to acquire three ATR42-600S turboprops. The new additions will allow PNG Air to fly into many more of the country’s landing strips. ATR’s CEO Stefano Bortoli described PNG Air’s deal as ‘a perfect match of a solid platform to demanding operations …  It’s about connecting communities that would not otherwise be connected.’ (Ain Online)

Energy & Internet

PNG DataCo released a public notice last week to explain that the company is ‘two months behind to fully activate the cable system [the Coral Sea Cable] to the rest of the nation where we connect our domestic fibre cable network to the international cable’.  ‘We are confident that our shortcomings will be resolved this week and the CS2 will be activated by the end of this week so migration from PPC-1 and APNG2 to CS2 will be undertaken accordingly,’ the notice said.

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PNG Power and its contractor, Voltran Engineering, have completed and energised the Gerehu-to-NiuPower gas plant transmission lines project. The NiuPower gas plant is exporting 12 MW through the transmission line NiuPower to Moitaka and 16 MW to the Kanudi line. A total of 28MW are now being exported out from NiuPower. (PNG Power)

Photograph of the week

Happy 50th anniversary! Credit: PNG SME Magazine/LinkedIn

PNG’s leading rice manufacturer and exporter, Lae-based Trukai Industries, is celebrating its 50th anniversary. During a press conference in Port Moresby last week, its CEO, Greg Worthington-Eyre, reportedly said: ‘Our success is driven by passionate people in our business that have supported us over the years. We also acknowledge our customers and consumers at large, who are an integral part of our business. We remain committed to continue providing the best quality rice for them.’

 

Comments

  1. Peter Simon Kwila says

    How about the the pending hearing proceedings under the SLTC hearing to Wafi Golpu Mining Land Disputes to fully identify Legitimate LOs as third stakeholders to the project? What are your interpretations to this case? Is it legal to proceed on with the project if there is an unresolved issue that needs to be solved?

    On behalf of the traditional owners and not economical interest, we urgently urge the responsible govt and developer to hold back or put on hold the project until unresolved issues are addressed or we address it our way.

    Thanks

    Concerned Citizen

  2. Zibekokino Sasa says

    Though the court has lifted the injunction of the MOU but the People of Morobe want to know the Government come out clearly and explain the status of the DSTP tailing method into the Huon Gulf waters. Many civil society institutions in Morobe Province will NOT ALLOW WGJV to dump its toxic waste into the waters of Huon Gulf. The population and the use of Huoh Gulf waters by other stakeholders and Industries in terms of social and economic values are far greater and the impact is too risky. Therefore, on behalf of the people of Morobe province the Morobe Fisherman Corroborative Society and the Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea has the standing in the use of the Huon Gulf waters to protest against the WGJV proposed DSTP method into Huon Gulf waters.

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