Papua New Guinea’s resources sector to gather in Sydney


Next month’s 16th Papua New Guinea Mining and Petroleum Investment Conference in Sydney (5 to 7 December) will mark the event’s return for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic. Business Advantage PNG previews what to expect.

The conference will be hoping for an update on the progress with reopening the Porgera gold mine. Credit: Zijing Mining

The 16th Papua New Guinea Mining and Petroleum Investment Conference, to be held in Sydney next month, will take place against a background of several factors that have improved the chances of new resources projects getting the green light in Papua New Guinea.

Firstly, as recent presentations to suppliers have already indicated, PNG’s second LNG project, the TotalEnergies-led Papua LNG project has already entered its FEED [front end engineering and design] stage, with a final investment decision expected at the end of 2023.

‘This is our opportunity, working together with Government, to promote investment in the PNG resources sector to international investors’

Higher global oil and gas prices this year have only increased the likelihood that the project will start on time and delegates to the conference will be looking for more details about the five major tenders that will be issued to build the project, and for an update on the progress with early works.

With global demand for gas set to increase, the conference program will also feature updates from ExxonMobil on its plans to extend and expand the existing PNG LNG project and there are also hopes that there might be positive news too for Twinza Oil, proponent of the Pasca A offshore gas project in the Gulf of Papua, negotiations on which stalled last year.

The theme of this year’s conference, which will take place over three days, is “PNG Resources: Securing the next wave of responsible investment”.

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‘It’s been a tough couple of years for PNG and the world economically, but this is our opportunity, working together with Government, to promote investment in the PNG resources sector to international investors. We believe PNG has a lot to offer the world in terms of minerals and energy,’ says Anthony Smaré, President of the conference’s organisers, the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum.

Political support for the sector is seen as key. Organisers are expecting the attendance of the PNG Prime Minister James Marape, Mining Minister Sir Ano Pala and Petroleum Minister Kerenga Kua.


On the mining side, the sector is awaiting news of progress on the US$2.8 billion (K9.85 billion) Wafi-Golpu copper and gold project in Morobe Province, which is being pursued by Newcrest Mining and Harmony Gold. While neither miner has recently reported progress to their shareholders, the recent election of Luther Wenge as Governor of Morobe, a supporter of the mine, has improved the likelihood that local objections to the project’s proposed treatment of tailings may be overcome.

More immediately, the industry is also awaiting news of the reopening of Porgera gold mine in Enga Province, following the establishment of a new entity, New Porgera Limited, to take over its mining lease. The mine has been closed since April 2020 and there is no firm date for its reopening, in spite of a series of encouraging announcements.

More details are also expected about the future operation of PNG’s largest mine, Ok Tedi. Earlier this month, it was announcement the mine life would be extended to at least 2032.

Meanwhile, eyes will also be on the recently-recapitalised Mayur Resources, which aiming to get its Central Cement and Lime Project in Central Province, and the Orokolo Bay Iron and Industrial Sands projects under way.


The conference will also receive exploration updates from many of the companies currently exploring PNG for minerals. Recently, exploration activity in PNG has been quiet. Jerry Garry, Managing Director of PNGs Mineral Resources Authority, is expected to outline the authority’s plans to encourage greater future exploration.

16th Papua New Guinea Mining and Petroleum Investment Conference will take place at the Hilton Sydney from 5 to 7 December. For more details, including the full program, click here.

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