Mining conference: first chance for industry to meet new government


Senior figures in Papua New Guinea’s new government will come face-to-face with members of the country’s largest industry for the first time at the Papua New Guinea Mining and Petroleum Conference (3–5 December) in Sydney, Australia.

Aerial and onboard activity photos of Semac 1 pipelaying vessel. ExxonMobil's LNG project in Papua New Guinea, December 2011

Pic: ExxonMobil

‘It’s the perfect venue for the new O’Neill Government to present itself internationally and to provide the industry with an understanding of the range of new policies and proposals it is considering—indeed, its aims for the industry for the next five years,’ Greg Anderson, Executive Director of the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum told Business Advantage PNG.

The Hon. Peter O’Neill, PNG’s Prime Minister, is scheduled to address the conference on the morning of 3 December with Mining Minister Byron Chan and Minister for Petroleum and Energy William Duma also on the programme. In yesterday’s National Budget, the Government committed itself to a review of the existing 1992 Mining Act ‘in full consultation with stakeholders’.

While Anderson noted ‘the Government’s attitude to the industry is key,’ the conference’s principle function is to act as a showcase for the developments in the industry since the last conference in 2010, with all major producers and exploration companies expected to provide an update on their PNG activities.

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‘We want to show the investment community how much progress has been made, both in terms of current projects but also the emergence of interesting new prospects. There have been very substantial achievements both in hydrocarbons and mining,’ said Anderson.

There should be particular interest among the 1100-plus delegates in the future of two high profile resources projects—Nautilus Minerals’ deep sea mining project in the Bismarck Sea, which appears to have come into difficulty, and InterOil’s long-anticipated Gulf liquefied natural gas project, which has just received Cabinet approval. Anderson said he is hoping that both companies will be able to provide ‘more clarity’ on their contrasting situations.