077_Global12_InFocus_Zimbabwe

Global 13

In FocusPapua New Guinea Credit: PNG LNG Project PNG LNG Project, gas production and processing in the Southern Highlands and Western Provinces of Papua New Guinea; the liquefaction and storage facilities have a capacity of 6.9 million tons per year and there are over 700 kilometres (450 miles) of pipelines connecting the facilities to participate directly in the next phase of Province’s Lihir gold mine, and Western Meanwhile, a giant open-cast copper, the development of the resources sector.” Province’s Ok Tedi mine, which produces silver and gold mine on the island of Bou- The government wants local businesses to copper, gold and silver. Lihir, operated by gainville is still languishing in maintenance get “the lions’ share of work undertaken by Australia’s Newcrest Mining, produces mode. Civil unrest, sparked by secession- contractors and suppliers”. around 600,000 ounces of gold a year. Ok ist fervour, forced its closure in the 1990s. At present, the project receiving great- Tedi, run by Papua New Guinea Sustain- Peace accords were signed 11 years ago, est attention – and now scheduled to com- able Development Program Limited (also with Papua New Guinea agreeing to greater mence its operations in late 2014 – involves known as the Program Company), which is local autonomy and promising a referen- production of 6.6 million tonnes of lique- controlled by BHP Billiton and Papua New dum on separation. Some compensation fied natural gas (LNG) per year over its Guinea interests, each year sends about was paid to local landowners (although anticipated lifespan of at least 30 years. 60,000 tonnes of copper and 540,000 ounc- the amounts remain confidential) and ru- The so-called PNG LNG Project involves es of gold to key markets around the world. mours circulate periodically that the mine an overall investment outlay of US$19 bil- The Program Company is also mulling is poised to reopen. lion. The project has an Exxon Mobil unit, over the purchase of a stake in another ma- Marking up GDP growth of 8.9 percent Esso Highlands, as operator, holding a 33.2 jor multinational miner’s project – Xstrata’s in 2011, Papua New Guinea exports cop- percent stake, with further stakes held by Frieda River copper and gold mine. Xstrata per, gold and oil along with timber, coffee, PNG-based Oil Search, the government’s has told the government it would welcome palm oil, other agricultural products and Independent Public Business Corporation such participation to help it dilute its own seafood. Neighbouring Australia is both the and other smaller investors. involvement as part of a global “ongoing main trading partner and leading aid donor. A similar scheme, costing $6 billion and review of operations”. Imports are predominantly manufactured called the Liquid Niugini Gas Project, is Frieda River mine – with 12 million goods (including machinery), food, chemi- scheduled to produce up to 5 million tonnes tonnes of copper and 18.5 million ounces cals and fuels. Most people are subsistence of LNG a year, starting in 2014 or 2015. of gold – is located in the same region as farmers, about one-third of whom live be- It includes a 354km pipeline from the Elk- Ok Tedi. Around $270 million of investors’ low the poverty line. However, foreign Antelope gas fields to a refinery alongside funds has already been spent to buy the land governments and international agencies InterOil’s existing petroleum refinery at on which the open-cast mine is located, and consider the country stable and highly ap- Napa Napa on the outskirts of Port Mo- the essential infrastructure is planned to in- propriate for low-risk investment. resby. Canada-incorporated InterOil is the clude an airport, a hydroelectric dam, a port As a new generation of oil, gas and other operating partner, with smaller stakes held and 120km of roads. mining projects come on stream, there is by Swiss-based Pacific LNG Operations A project in preparation is the offshore no doubt that a transformative economic and the government-owned Petromin. Solwara project to mine sulphides from the boom will follow, but the key to sustaining Other major mining sector projects, cur- seabed, operated by Canada-based Nautilus this will be in ensuring that the benefits are rently productive, include New Ireland Minerals. spread more widely than before.● globalfirst quarter 2013 www.global-briefing.org l77


Global 13
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