Papua New Guinea mining and petroleum conference to focus on global mining downturn


Next month’s Mining and Petroleum Investment Conference in Sydney will take a critical look at how the industry can build on recent successful ventures in Papua New Guinea, as it deals with the global mining downturn.

PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill

PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill

While PNG’s Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, will open the Sydney, Australia, conference, Mining Minister Byron Chan, will give the government’s perspective on the mining global downturn facing producers, explorers, investors and governments, says Greg Anderson, Executive Director of the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum, which is hosting the conference.

Chan is also expected to provide industry with the Government’s latest thinking on its planned revision of the Mining Act.

A particular highlight will be a presentation by research analysts Deloitte Access Economics, says Anderson.

Understanding the downturn

‘This downturn is a world scenario and not restricted to PNG,’ Anderson told Business Advantage PNG.

‘But the mining sector has been facing a downturn since the commodities cycle reversal in about 2012 and that’s still with us.’

‘We had a really strong period of growth from 2003, with changes in the tax regime which captured the opportunities from the start. PNG finessed it right from the beginning of the cycle and we didn’t have to play catch-up that plagued other resource nations.

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The PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum's Greg Anderson,

The PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum’s Greg Anderson

‘So we’ve had 10 years of buoyant conditions in exploration, expansion and development and we achieved quite a lot, including two big new mining projects as well as the PNG LNG project.


‘But the mining sector has been facing a downturn since the commodities cycle reversal in about 2012 and that’s still with us.

‘So we are going to continue to have difficult times, particularly for the junior miners to raise exploration dollars on the markets. Productivity has been an issue with producers so they’ve had to really knuckle down and cut wastage and cut staff and put a comb through their costs.

‘So it’s been a difficult time for both the mining producers and junior exploration companies. It’s been almost impossible to raise real money on the market.

‘Some of these issues will come out of the conference.

Positive developments

‘The conference will also feature some of the very positive recent developments in the PNG mining sector,’ says Anderson, ‘including PanAust’s entry into the Frieda project, the mining lease grant for Woodlarks’ gold mining project and the deep sea mining project underway by Nautilus.

‘This is in addition to the world class achievement with the early commissioning and production at the PNG LNG project.’

Other conference highlights:

    • Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch will review his 2015 Budget;
Oil Search's Peter Botten

Oil Search’s Peter Botten

  • Peter Botten, Managing Director, Oil Search, will discuss the resource industry’s contribution to private sector dynamism;
  • Mike Johnston, Chief Executive Officer, Nautilus Minerals, will talk about the Solwara 1 Deep Sea Mining Project;
  • Other speakers include:
    •  Jean-Marie Guillermou, Senior Vice President Asia Pacific, Total Oil;
    • Peter Botten, Managing Director, Oil Search;
    • Lesley Bennett, Manager Women in Mining and Petroleum Program, PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum;
    • Greg Walker, Executive General Manager, Barrick Niugini;
    • Nigel Parker, Managing Director, Ok Tedi Mining;
    •  John Chambers, Country Manager PNG, Santos Ltd;
    • Peter Aitsi, PNG Country Manager, Newcrest Mining;
    • Lutz Heim, Office Managing Partner, Port Moresby, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu;
    • Alan Fernie, Exploration Manager, Horizon Oil;
    • Greg Starr, Managing Director, Crater Gold Mining.

The full programme is available here.