In brief: KPH and Total to market LNG sales jointly, and other business stories

Joint venture to sell Papua LNG output, second mining lease issued in Bougainville, Cabinet approves Ramu Two project. Your weekly digest of the latest business news.

Kumul Petroleum Holdings has reportedly signed a binding Heads of Agreement with Total for the joint marketing and sale of their shares of LNG and condensates to be produced from the Papua LNG Project. The IJV (international joint venture) will seek buyers in the Asia-Pacific region for long-term sales. Meanwhile, Petroleum Minister, Fabian Pok, reportedly says the Oil and Gas Act will be amended to allow future gas projects to make available a certain percentage of the output for domestic consumption.

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The Autonomous Bougainville Government has granted its second mining exploration licence, to a Philippines company, SR Metals Inc. Bougainville Exploration Licence No. 5 covers a 183 square kilometre area. Meanwhile, the Panguna Young Generation Leaders group has called for fresh elections for the landowner association representing the Panguna mine area, saying it is the only way for unity among landowners. Chairman Sylvester Birou Pisi has told Loop PNG he believes Perth-based RTG Mining is creating false expectations among landowners and if it obtains a licence to re-open Panguna, it will on-sell  the rights ‘to the highest bidder’.

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Public Enterprise Minister, William Duma. Credit: PNG Facts

The National Executive Council has approved ‘in principle’ a new Ramu Two project to address power issues in the Highlands and parts of Lae and Madang, according to Public Enterprises Minister, William Duma.

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The value of the daily kina exchange rate has depreciated against all major currencies except the Australian dollar since the end of September 2017. According to the Bank of PNG quarterly economic bulletin, kina has depreciated against the pound sterling by 3.3 per cent to K1 (£0.2341), the yen by 1.9 per cent to K1 (¥35.1235) and the US dollar by 0.8 per cent to K1 (US$0.3113). Against the Australian dollar and the euro, it appreciated by 1.8 per cent to K1 (A$0.4050) and 0.1 per cent to K1 (€0.2676).

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K92 Mining has commenced commercial production at its Kainantu gold mine in Eastern Highlands. The company reported that production for last month exceeded 2500 ounces of gold.

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Nautilus Minerals has been granted a two-year Exploration License to conduct exploration activities covering 2558 sq km, including the same prospective geology that hosts Nautilus’ Solwara 1 undersea deposit.

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Misima operated as an open-pit gold mine from 1989 to 2004. Credit: Placer Dome.

Junior explorer Kingston Resources has raised A$4.3 million (K10.9 million) to drill in and around the former Misima gold mine in Milne Bay Province. It is also seeking to raise a further A$1 million (K2.5 million) via a share purchase plan with existing shareholders. Kingston secured 49 per cent of Misima in 2017 via the merger with WCB, and has the right to earn up to 70 per cent from a joint venture between JX Nippon and Mitsui.

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Highlands Pacific has regained 100 per cent of Star Mountain tenements, after Anglo American’s review of its global exploration portfolio and its decision to withdraw from the Star Mountains exploration joint venture. Anglo American has spent a total of K123 million (US$38 million) on the project including a K32million (US$10 million) payment to Highlands Pacific for its initial entry into the project. Highlands Managing Director Craig Lennon reportedly says he will be looking for a new partner.

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The UN Commissioner for Human Rights has noted ‘persistent problems with land grabs’ in Papua New Guinea. A spokesperson for Zeid bin Ra’ad al-Hussein told UN Radio that corruption remains rife in PNG, affecting the right to land of its citizens. He singled out mining and logging companies, noting ‘quite often these communities ended up being evicted by these business companies, with allegedly the help of police forces’.

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Picture of the week

Bougainville: When there was no tugboat to tow an abandoned junk in the Kieta Harbour posing health risks to the community, the locals had to take it unto themselves to get the junk to a safe area. Picture from Tonny Moaera, via Facebook. Got a photo to share? Email editor@businessadvantageinternational.com 

 

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