078_Global12_InFocus_Zimbabwe

Global 13

In FocusPapua New Guinea “Papua New Guinea has some of the world’s biggest gold, silver and nickel reserves, attracting the attention of international mining giants” IntervIew Philip Samar, Acting Managing Director of the Mineral Resources Authority Global: Papua New Guinea’s land and sea Mining Advisory Council to ensure ad- Out of this equity, 5 percent is carried free areas would appear to have been quite in- equate protection of the environment. of charge by the State for the local com- tensively explored for minerals already. Do The Environment Act 2000 requires an munities including their provincial and lo- you have hopes of any major new discover- environment impact assessment to be com- cal level governments. The distribution of ies in the years ahead? pleted for all exploration and mining activi- their equity participation is contained in the Philip Samar: Absolutely. In fact, we are ties and the framework provided for by the project Memorandum of Agreement. discovering that PNG has potential for nickel Act is used to assess and qualify an explo- Prior to entry onto any land granted un- and cobalt, coal, iron sands, rare earth min- ration licence and mining lease. der an Exploration License (EL), the explo- erals, titanium, chromite and molybdenum. The EIA identifies potential impact on the ration company and the local communities Ramu Mine is for the first time in our beneficial uses of the environment. The Di- are required to agree to a compensation history diversifying our mineral base by rector of Environment may set conditions to agreement that sets out clearly the rates for adding 33,000 tonnes of nickel and 3,000 protect these beneficial uses. The conditions payment of the size of land as well as eco- tonnes of cobalt as of January 1, 2013. may come from set standards as published in nomic tree and cultural sites. We have an exciting portfolio of ad- regulations or from baseline data collected vanced projects that are scheduled for de- during the EIA. Is the increasing mining activity in Papua velopment within the next five years. The The proponent is obliged by the condi- New Guinea producing tangible benefits in offshore environment, hosting the deep sea tions of the environment permit to imple- terms of infrastructure, health and educa- exploration projects, has over the last 10 ment an approved environmental manage- tion for the population? years witnessed an aggressive exploration ment and monitoring programme (EMMP). Many of our mining operations are located in campaign supported by innovative marine The EMMP is a dynamic document and can some of the most remote and geographically geophysical and geochemical programmes. be modified in light of new information. challenging areas in PNG. The communities PNG’s first offshore mining licence was around these operations are usually the most granted in January 2011 with project com- How are the interests of the local communi- neglected due to the fact that government is missioning scheduled for 2014. The offshore ties catered for in the course of exploration not able to reach these populations. potential is huge and with our experience of and production? And is there any statutory We currently have eight operating mines. permitting what we believe is the world’s provision for the involvement of local inves- These mines have singlehandedly built the first commercially viable deep sea mining tors and other business interests? necessary basic infrastructure such as roads, operation (Solwara-1), we are confident that The local communities play major roles dur- bridges, power, wharves and whole town- the next big discovery is just around the cor- ing the exploration and production stages of ships. The same goes for health and educa- ner whether it is on land or on the sea-bed. a project. They are provided the opportunity tion where the mining companies have had up front during exploration, to either accept to put in place the health and education in- What regulatory provision is made to limit or reject an exploration programme. The frastructure with partnership from the gov- or restrict any potential damage to the government through the Mineral Resources ernment in terms of staffing these facilities. natural environment during mineral explo- Authority holds these public forums through The mining companies without doubt have ration and production? the Mining Wardens where such acceptance gone beyond their operations to ensure that The current Mining Act 1992 requires that or otherwise is recorded and is reported back these social infrastructures are in place for proponents of an exploration or mining to the Minister for Mining for a decision to the benefit of their host communities. development licence are to first satisfy the either grant or not to grant. The real challenge will be for both the requirements of the Environment Act 2000 Under existing policy and legislation, the government and the host communities to prior to any favourable consideration of State may acquire an equity interest of up sustain these valuable infrastructure and their lease application and also allows the to 30% in any mining development project. social benefits beyond mine closure.● 78 lwww.global-briefing.org first quarter 2013global


Global 13
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