In brief: Newcrest revises Wafi-Golpu plan, and other business stories


Newcrest plans larger development at Wafi-Golpu, O’Neill confident Papua New Guinea will recover from quake and loan to cover government superannuation debt. Your weekly digest of the latest business news.

Newcrest Mining’s plans for the Wafi-Golpu project will cost an extra US$200 million (K650 million) more to build under a revised plan for a larger, US$2.8 billion (K9.1 billion) development, with mine wastes being piped into the ocean. In an updated report this week. Managing Director Sandeep Biswas reportedly says capital spending over the life of the mine would rise to US$5.4 billion (K17.59 billion). Development of the mine is likely to be more than five years away, and development would take five years after a special mining lease is awarded.


Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, has told the second Petroleum and Energy Summit in Port Moresby he is confident PNG will recover from the recent earthquake that rattled the gas industry. The Post-Courier also reports Petroleum Minister Fabian Pok has warned the Government’s business partners the government will not tolerate those that have been given licences and continue ‘to warehouse gas’ supplies.


The Prime Minister has told the National Planning Consultative Summit that the government is reviewing all resource agreements. ‘By 2020, we will stop all round log exports. There must be 100 percent downstream processing in two years.’ Watch EMTV’s report here.


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Treasurer Charles Abel says the Government will settle its debt with Nambawan Super through a loan. The government owes the fund more than K2 billion in unfunded contributions, according to Chairman Anthony Smare.


Abel has also told The National that tax credit schemes are under review to make sure the Government is getting ‘its money’s worth’ from projects. 


Woodlark Island marked in red. Credit: Ramumine

Gold and copper company Geopacific Resources says it will make a development decision on the Woodlark gold project in Milne Bay in September, after receiving positive pre-feasibility study results. Managing Director, Ron Heeks, says the study shows Woodlark is a robust, low-cost, low-stripping ratio, open-pit operation that can deliver an annual average of 100,000 ounces of gold over 10 years.


Oro Province Governor, Gary Juffa,  has shut down an allegedly illegal forestry operation at Collingwood Bay, seizing heavy equipment and arresting a group of foreign workers. Juffa says the company had been aided by a number of corrupt officials who provided fraudulent permits. He told RNZ Pacific that when officials refused to act, he took matters into his own hand. The Post-Courier reports that 13 Asians without work permits were arrested.


PNG Forestry Authority Managing Director, Tunou Sabuin says forestry exports will be worth close to K2 billion in 2018, up from K1.3 billion in 2017. He said export duties in 2017 totalled K300 million.


Mapai Transport’s Jacob Luke. Credit: The National

Trucking company Mapai Transport has reportedly added 10 new prime movers at a cost of K8 million to its Lae-based trucking fleet in Morobe province.  The deal that will see 10 Mapai truck drivers, who have spent more than 10 years with the company, each owning a prime mover.


The New Ireland Development Corp will establish a subsidiary company to buy and export beche-de-mer. Governor, Sir Julius Chan, says the aim is to improve the way the product is sold and bring in better prices for fishermen.


PNG’s tuna processors are expected to receive K10 million (up K2 million) from the Government under the rebate scheme, according to National Fisheries Authority Managing Director John Kasu. He said he was aware that processors had increased production since the new rebate scheme came into effect. 


Work has begun on phase three of the Buka ring road upgrade and sealing, which will be carried out by Raibro Construction for the Autonomous Bougainville Government, at a cost of K20 million. The Post-Courier reports locals are welcoming the end to ‘bumpy roads’ and many are planning to buy their own sedans and 15-seater buses.


A referendum on New Caledonian independence will be held on 4 November, 2018. The wording of the referendum has to be agreed and voting will be limited to long-term residents.

Photograph of the Week

Meet Koki, a farmer who grows about 500 apple trees deep in the mountains of Yus, local government area, in Kabwum District of Morobe Province. He reportedly walks three to five days to sell his produce in Lae. Credit: Exshorn Timoci via Facebook. Have you got a great photo? Send to


  1. John Johnson says

    Wafi – Golpu has been in feasibility mode for at least 10 years and I see about another ten years expected.
    Wake us up when its going ahead. All this is just posturing for tax breaks via expenditure.

  2. Juan J. San Mames says

    Congratulations Governor, Gary Juffa,
    for stopping illegal logging you are a real PNG patriot for protecting the environment and the people of PNG. You should also put in jail the corrupt PNG officials that issued the permits.
    thank you SIR.

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