In brief: Ok Tedi Mining suspends flights to Australia and other business stories


Ok Tedi Mining suspends flight to Australia after three miners tested positive to COVID-19, Papua New Guinea continues to address surge in COVID cases and National Fisheries Authority signs agreement for Daru fishery.

ok tedi covid

Swab samples collected from an employee as part of Ok Tedi Mining Ltd’s ongoing testing program to make sure all its employees are COVID safe. Credit: Ok Tedi Mining


After five passengers who travelled from PNG to Cairns, in Queensland, tested positive for COVID-19, Ok Tedi Mining has suspended its regularly-scheduled flights to Cairns for the next two weeks.

OK Tedi has said that it is working closely with PNG health and provincial authorities in Western Province as well as with Queensland Police and Queensland Health to monitor the situation and make necessary adjustments to its COVID-19 control measures. (OK Tedi)


An assessment on the details of the construction of the Wafi-Golpu mining project is set to be tabled at the end of this month, Mineral Resources Authority Managing Director Jerry Garry told The National. He said that for a special mining lease of a large project there are three distinct pathways for permitting.

‘That includes looking at structures to be built on the ground, the roads the buildings, the processing plants … Because it [Wafi-Golpu] will be an underground operation, we will also look at designs to critically ensure that the integrity of the structures and any development met the expected standards.

‘Once that is done and we are satisfied, we will give the green light for them to go and construct,’ he explained.

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othern bluefin tuna swim in the Pacific Ocean. Photograph: Alamy

PNG and other Pacific countries should work together to export tuna to Australia and New Zealand, according to Dr Transform Aqorau, Chief Executive Officer of iTuna Intel and Pacific Catalyst. He said the market value for tuna in the Pacific was ‘worth US$6 billion (K21.09 billion)’.

‘We should be saying to Australia and New Zealand: Let us produce you canned tuna for your market in PNG and in the Solomon Islands,’ Aqorau said. ‘These are the opportunities that we are not capturing.’ (The National)


The National Fisheries Authority (NFA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Fisheries Infrastructure Public Agency of the Republic of Korea on fisheries ports development. The document is being considered as a framework to facilitate best practices including ‘the exchange of administrative, technical and human resources in fisheries ports development and to explore, develop and implement joint cooperation in fisheries infrastructure development to support the fishing industry.’ (Post-Courier)


The NFA and the Fujian Zhonghong Fishery Ltd signed an agreement with the State for a fisheries project in Daru, Western Province. The Managing Director the NFA, John Kasu, said that the document is ‘just a framework to set discussions in motion’. He reportedly said that Fujian still needs to submit a business plan that, if approved, would have to go through the NFA board for its sanctioning.

Kasu also said ‘because of the sensitivity of the area, the Torres Strait which has a treaty between us and Australia, won’t be touched.’ (The National)


Last week, Rabaul, the East New Britain Government and Livestock Development Corporation Ltd signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop a livestock and cattle ranching industry in Kurakakaul. The National


Mama Bank received K2.5 million from the Kerema District Development Authority to rollout a credit facility in the district to empower entrepreneurship among women. (Post-Courier)


Of the K200 million the Marape Government allocated for SMEs, only the K100 million allocated to Bank South Pacific (BSP) has been lent to local entrepreneurs, according to the SME Corporation’s Des Yaninen. He said the National Development Bank (NDB) hasn’t started lending for their allocated K80 million, which was suppose to start in the first quarter of 2021. He also claimed the K20 million allocated to the Department of Commerce and Industry has ‘disappeared and no project management unit has been set up.’ (Post-Courier)


On March 5, PNG recorded 63 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases to 1429. The cases were recorded in Morobe, West Sepik, East Sepik, Western Province and the NCD. Earlier last week two more cases were reported in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.


Lae town, Morobe Province, has been placed in lockdown until Friday next week and the Morobe Provincial Emergency Operations Committee has issued the ‘no mask no entry’ rule for all government offices and buildings. Bars, social clubs and gambling houses are closed until 19 March. (RNZ)


To celebrate International Women’s Day, Nambawan Super has released findings that suggest their ‘female members are excellent savers – on average they have higher balances than their male counterparts,’ said CEO Paul Sayer in a statement. Sayer also highlighted that Nambawan has a balanced workforce with 50 per cent men and women. ‘We have a track record of Women in Leadership, and are investing in the next generation Executive Leaders, and have more high calibre female trainee directors and managers, who are role modelling Women in Leadership in every aspect of our operations at Nambawan Super,’ said Sayer.

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