In brief: Simberi mine suspends operations temporarily and other business stories


St Barbara has suspended operations of its Simberi project until it is safe to restart, Air Niugini relaxes COVID-19 restrictions for national flights, and global shortage of storage containers might impact Papua New Guinea’s trade. The business news in brief.

Artist’s impression of the Paga Hill development. Credit: Paga Hill Development Company


Farmers from the Autonomous Region of Bougainville will send two shipments of taro to Port Moresby within the next few months. The shipment is part of a partnership with City Pharmacy Limited (CPL) Group. The President of Bougainville Youth in Agriculture, Ian Getsi Viore, reportedly said: ‘We have a six months contract with City Pharmacy Limited, and they are asking for two containers every fortnight going forward.’

CPL’s Chairman, Mahesh Patel, said that he’s ventured into partnerships with Bougainville producers to supply fresh produce to CPL. (Post-Courier)


The PNG Biomass project has received a ‘notice of termination’ from PNG Power. The biomass and solar farm project in Markham Valley in Morobe Province is intended to provide up to 40MW of clean energy to the Ramu grid, helping stabilise the grid and reduce blackouts in Lae. (Business Advantage PNG)


A global shortage of storage containers will impact trade in PNG and the Pacific. TradeCorp PNG Limited’s Manager Douglas reportedly said the company doesn’t ‘expect any stocks until November or Christmas.’ He also said that Lae is not being ‘hugely affected’ at the moment because they have ‘a large amount of stock’ but he mentioned the company is ‘several 100 containers short from our branches in Australia.’ (Post-Courier)


Air Niugini has advised its customers that a negative COVID-19 test is no longer required for domestic travel. The company, however, continues to implement COVID-safe policies, including ‘completion of a NDOH Health Declaration Form for presentation on arrival at your destination, wearing of facemasks on board aircraft and within the airport facilities, and use of hand sanitiser and social distancing wherever appropriate and practical.’ (Air Niugini)


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Timothy Masiu, Minister for ICT, has said that the Department of Information and Communication Technology will take a Digital Government Bill to Parliament. (FM100)


Mining company St Barbara has temporarily suspended operation in its Simberi mine in New Ireland Province. The suspension is to investigate a fatality at Simberi. Operations will resume ‘when it is safe to do so’. (St Barbara)


There are plans to open a casino in Port Moresby by 2023, according to LOOP PNG. The casino, Pacific Pearl, is being developed by the Paga Hill Development Company. ‘Local and international tourist will be here to play casino and of course create direct and indirect employment. Between one and two thousand would be employed including taxi drivers (…) and those in the SME sector will also participate,’ reportedly said National Gaming Control Board Chairman Clemence Kanau during the signing of an agreement between the NGCB and the developer. (LOOP PNG)

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