In brief: PNG working on US trade and investment framework and other business stories


The United States and PNG working on trade and investment framework, Supreme Court rules Marape legally elected and Morobe Provincial Government to be first provincial government to engage directly in alluvial mining. The business news you need to kickstart your week.


Last Friday, the Supreme Court ruled that Prime Minister James Marape was legally elected Prime Minister in May 2019, rejecting a case brought by Opposition Leader Belden Namah and others. (ABC)

The Opposition has reportedly travelled from Vanimo to Port Moresby over the weekend ahead of an anticipated Supreme Court ruling today on whether Parliament will reconvene tomorrow (1 December). The Opposition is appealing the legality of the sitting day of 17 November, during which the National Budget 2021 was passed and Parliament was suspended until 20 April. (Various)


PNG and the United States of America are working on a trade and investment framework agreement to boost bilateral trade. US Ambassador to PNG, Erin Mckee, told The National that the focus would be bilateral trade opportunities in agriculture and other sectors.

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‘It is not a free trade agreement,” she said. ‘It’s a foundational agreement between our two countries to start exploring specific two-way trade opportunities.’ (The National)

Mining and petroleum

Over the past decade, investment in exploration in PNG’s resources sector has declined from a billion kina to just K200million in 2020, according to the Papua New Guinea Chamber of Mines and Petroleum‘s President, Gerea Aopi.

‘Exploration is the future for the resource sector because we need to replace our existing assets,’ he told a business breakfast in Port Moresby last week. He attributed the fall in investment to the uncertainties regarding government reforms to the sector. (Post-Courier)


Niuminco Group Ltd, which owns the Edie Creek gold and silver mine in Morobe Province, has announced consolidated losses of A$1.425 million (K3.68 million) for the financial year ending 30 June 2020 in its annual report.

In spite of the bad result and lower-than-expected production at Edie Creek, the report states that the company’s directors ‘are of the opinion that there are reasonable grounds to expect that the Group’s operational and financial performance will improve and will be able to continue as a going concern.’ (Niuminco Group)


The Morobe Provincial Government will be the first provincial government in the country to engage directly in alluvial mining operations following the issuing of two alluvial mining licences by the Mineral Resources Authority. Morobe-owned Morobe Alluvial Mining Limited is now the developer to leases ML263 at Sandy Creek and ML529 at Widubosh, Bulolo.

More than 100 leaseholders have reportedly registered with the newly-established company to participate in alluvial mining projects in the province. (Post-Courier)


PNG’s Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey has endorsed a K240 million loan facility with Bank South Pacific for the building of roads in the National Capital District. The loan is for the construction of four-lane roads connecting several parts of Port Moresby, including 9-Mile to Laloki, 9-Mile to 17-Mile into Central and from Gerehu roundabout to other parts of the city. (The National)


The runway length at Tokua Airport, Rabaul has been temporarily shortened to allow for urgent runway maintenance works, which are expected to last approximately two months. As a result, all Air Niugini flights to and from Tokua are being rescheduled on to smaller Dash-8 aircraft, operated by its subsidiary, Link PNG. The airline plans to resume Fokker jet services to Tokua as soon as the runway maintenance is completed. (Air Niugini)


Businesses in Goroka are concerned about the poor condition of roads, according to the Goroka Chamber of Commerce and Industry. President Chris Anders said concrete was being used to patch potholes. He said also of concern is traffic congestion, the breach of the traffic rules and heavy vehicles. (The National)


Prime Minister James Marape last week officially handed over a cheque for K80 million to the National Development Bank for its share of the K200 million to fund cheap loans to SMEs. The NDB will offer four credit lines: Youth and Small Business Enterprise (startup loans), Agri-loans, Women in Business Credit Line and Bougainville enterprise loans. (SME Corporation)


The Pacifika Women Network trade centre in Port Moresby has again shut its operations because of the non-payment of rent by SME tenants. (The National)

Picture of the Week

Thirteen employers have been acknowledged in the Nasfund Awards Employers Awards, which recognise employer compliance and support for superannuation. Nasfund’s CEO Ian Tarutia praised employers’ resilience in ‘this challenging year’. Winners include Hides Gas Development Company, Bank South Pacific, New Britain Palm Oil, Telikom PNG and Datec (PNG). Credit: Nasfund.

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