How Rio Tinto left the once pristine Jaba River - now a toxic 40 km drain to the coast
NOOSA - The Human Rights Law Centre in Melbourne has said Rio Tinto Ltd should fund an investigation of health and safety issues and clean up the environmental mess from the Panguna copper and gold mine in the 20 years from 1970 to 1990.
It says the review would be a starting point for compensation talks and negotiations about rehabilitating the old minesite at Panguna and nearby waterways including the ruined Jaba River.
Continue reading "Hey Rio! Get back & fix your mess" »
Street market - a large part of Papua New Guinea's daily trade and commerce relies on the informal economy
BUSA JEREMIAH WENOGO
PORT MORESBY - As the spread of coronavirus claims thousands of lives throughout the world it has also brought economic hardship to many countries.
Businesses and governments face a bleak future with economic activities shutting down and the movement of people becoming more restrictive.
In Papua New Guinea the government recently introduced a state of emergency after a foreign mine worker travelling to PNG’s second biggest city Lae tested positive for the virus.
Continue reading "Informal economy needs virus protection" »
The spread of coronoavirus seems to have spared PNG so far, but nevertheless the economy will suffer a big hit
| EMTV | Extracts
LAE - Papua New Guinea may need to review its economic outlook for the medium term as global economies contend with the wide-ranging impacts of coronavirus.
While Papua New Guineans have been debating the preparedness of the health system, and bracing for a possible outbreak, the economic burden brought on by the global pandemic could further cripple efforts to contain the spread of the disease.
Continue reading "Coronavirus threatens PNG economy" »
IAN LING-STUCKEY | Edited
PORT MORESBY - When Peter O’Neill came to power in 2012, Papua New Guinea’s debt was K8.5 billion. When he left in 2019, the figure was K37.6 billion.
So the debt was 4.4 times larger after only seven years. K29.1 billion larger. Not double, not triple, not even quadruple – an extraordinary 4.43 times larger.
Continue reading "O’Neill’s K37 billion debt legacy" »
| Rystad Energy | Edited
OSLO, NORWAY - The decision by the government of Papua New Guinea to halt talks with ExxonMobil about the state’s share of revenues from the planned P’nyang gas field development is set to delay two key liquefied natural gas projects that would double the country’s gas output.
The two projects, Total’s $13-14 billion Papua LNG investment and ExxonMobil’s subsequent PNG LNG Expansion plan, are located close to each other and could save the firms up to $3 billion in shared infrastructure synergies through a combined development.
Continue reading "LNG negotiations hit wall" »
PORT MORESBY – I commend Barrick Niugini Limited for contributing K59.3 million to the national government as a forward payment of its taxes.
This is a second example of a major business being willing to pay its taxes early and follows on the example of British American Tobacco in bringing forward K250 million in excise collections.
Continue reading "Barrick supports new revenue initiative" »
Ian Ling-Stuckey (centre right) and staff celebrate six months of hard work rescuing the PNG economy, including the development of the forward pay tax concept
PORT MORESBY - Friday marked six months since Ian Ling-Stuckey came into office as Papua New Guinea’s Treasurer.
Ling-Stuckey has delivered an economic rescue plan for PNG which will be monitored by an independent umpire, the International Monetary Fund.
IMF and its staff will be making sure the PNG government keeps its promises to rescue Papua New Guineans from O'Neill's deep economic hole.
Continue reading "Forward tax pay helps PNG budget" »
| LNG Industry
FARNHAM, UK - Reuters is reporting that Oil Search Ltd is working to revive talks between Exxon Mobil Corp and the Papua New Guinea government regarding a plan to double the country’s natural gas exports.
Oil Search’s new CEO, Keiran Wulff, has told Reuters that he hopes that negotiations could resume within weeks.
Continue reading "Oil Search aims to revive talks" »
| PNG Advantage | Edited extracts
PORT MORESBY - Despite significant volatility, Papua New Guinea’s largest businesses remain optimistic about the year ahead.
That’s according to the results of the latest PNG 100 CEO Survey, released jointly by Business Advantage International and Westpac PNG, which feature for the first time the country’s inaugural Business Expectations Index.
Continue reading "PNG businesses feel optimistic" »
Ian Ling-Stuckey - "O’Neill dragged us into a debt trap. His economic mismanagement increased PNG’s debt by 435%"
Papua New Guinea Treasurer | Edited extracts
PORT MORESBY - Peter O’Neill does shame to his role as former prime minister by continuing to lie to the country about his economic legacy.
During the years of his autocratic rule, he produced fake budgets, fake national accounts and fake growth figures.
I had hoped that, when he was caught out for his fraudulent behaviour and deceptions through the due diligence exercise and confirmed by the independent International Monetary Fund, at least he might stop lying to the people of this nation.
Continue reading "O’Neill’s economic lies refuted" »
Exxon’s conduct has been criticised by the PNG government as being “exploitative”
| The Interpreter | Lowy Institute
CANBERRA - The recent announcement of the Papua New Guinea government to cease all negotiations with one of the United States’ largest oil and gas companies, Exxon Mobil, over the P’nyang LNG project, a new gas field in PNG, has broader implications for the US and PNG.
At first glance, the decision against Exxon for allegedly acting in bad faith is part of a wider crackdown by the government of prime minister James Marape to ensure greater fairness in the resource sector.
Continue reading "Booting Exxon boosts Marape – for now" »
Traditional green axes by Simeon Nikints (Peter Kinjap)
PETER S KINJAP
PORT MORESBY – For thousands of years before the first Australian patrol reached Mt Hagen in 1933, stones axes (known as ‘green axes’) were used daily in the highlands of Papua New Guinea, and were widely traded often in the context of ceremonial exchanges.
In more recent times, a group of ‘factories’ located in the Waghi and Jimi Valleys accounted for the bulk of production of green axes.
Continue reading "Our special green axes" »
Eddie Tanago - "A public register of beneficial ownerships would make it much harder for corrupt politicians and bureaucrats to hide their crimes"
| Act Now!
PORT MORESBY - The latest corruption scandal involving a government minister and a foreign oil company emphasises once again the need for the government to legislate on hidden or ‘beneficial’ company ownerships.
Allowing people to register a company without revealing who are the real owners or beneficiaries creates a massive information vacuum that enables corruption and tax evasion to happen right under our noses.
Continue reading "Open up company ownership, say Act Now!" »
Eddie Tanago - Even under Marape, the government is still disenfranchising customary landowners and diluting rural resilience
| Act Now!
PORT MORESBY - The Land Minister’s announcement of a new pilot project to further disenfranchise customary landowners is part of a misguided promotion of private sector greed over people’s need for income generation.
The Papua New Guinea government should be focused on empowering rural people to build resilient communities on their own land rather than serving the greed of foreign owned banks and big corporations.
Continue reading "Government still failing on customary land" »
DAGUA - Papua New Guinea's current population growth rate is above 2%, the rate having gradually slowed from 3.1% since 2000. This trend is expected to continue over the next few years.
PNG's National Statistics Office reported after the 2011 census that the population had reached more than seven million.
Continue reading "PNG's people problem" »
Misima gold mine
| Forbes | Extracts
PERTH - Investors with a taste for gold, and who hasn’t in the current climate, can thank one of the world’s great financial institutions, the Bank of England, for creating an opportunity to buy a slice of the proposed redevelopment of a once fabulous goldmine.
It was back in 1999 when Britain’s central bank made one of the worst-ever business decisions. It starting selling its gold reserves, eventually parting with 395 tons of gold over a three-year period at an average price of $252 an ounce — 460% less than today’s gold price of $1,554/oz.
Continue reading "Will gold mining return to Misima?" »
Chey Scovell - "A number of manufacturers have had to put their expansion plans on hold"
| Business Advantage PNG
PORT MORESBY - It is shaping up to be a difficult and frustrating year. Manufacturers, like anyone else, require people to be spending money to buy our goods and there is just not much money going around.
If you go to the supermarkets there is nobody in line and everyone has a small basket because they can’t afford to fill up a trolley. In the rental market there is a 40 to 50 per cent vacancy rate.
Continue reading "PNG manufacturers face tough year" »
P'nyang gas field - Is PNG squeezing energy companies too hard when it should be fixing a leaking pipe?
PORT MORESBY - "A fair deal is not merely squeezing a large slice of ice cream out of our development partners and then losing most of it through a horribly broken and hopelessly leaking pipe," wrote David Kitchnoge in PNG Attitude yesterday.
A clear and pragmatic observation.
Continue reading "Getting it right in energy deals" »
"Our criticism of Exxon Mobil and other development partners in the resources sector is as much a criticism of ourselves"
PORT MORESBY - The politics of bigman, the economy of wastage and a public service that has become 'private service for a tip' all combined to deliver prime minister James Marape's ground breaking announcement last Sunday rejecting the P'nyang gas deal.
Mr Marape’s speech rejecting the P'nyang gas deal had been written over the years. It was a speech really aimed at an audience close to home. And if we didn't get it, we have a problem. The irony is that I'm not even sure the PM himself gets it.
Continue reading "So PNG, what is a fair deal?" »
James Marape -“To date my families, tribes, provinces and country are yet to fully see those promised windfalls"
| Bloomberg | Extracts
NEW YORK - Exxon Mobil Corp’s partner on a Papua New Guinea gas project that’s threatened by failed talks with the government has hit back at PNG’s position, saying its terms were uneconomical.
Oil Search, in its first comment since the talks broke down on Friday, said that the government’s demands meant the project would not gain a sufficient return on investment.
Continue reading "Oil Search fires back at PNG" »
James Marape calls off LNG negotiations. Big mining exploiters cry, beat breasts and stamp on floor
| Reuters | Extract
MELBOURNE - Plans to double gas exports from Papua New Guinea within the next four years are in doubt after the government walked away from talks with Exxon Mobil Corp on a key gas project needed for the $13 billion expansion.
PNG prime minister James Marape has called off negotiations with Exxon on the P’nyang field, blaming the energy giant for failing to budge on a proposed deal that was “out of the money”.
Continue reading "LNG treads water after talks collapse" »
David Kitchnoge - explains the loan should never have been
PORT MORESBY - As the infamous UBS loan inquiry commences here in the national capital, let's take a quick look at how we got here.
The Papua New Guinea government had a 17.6% interest in Oil Search when Oil Search merged with Orogen Minerals in 2002.
When the PNG LNG project crystallised in 2009, and the final investment decision had to be made, the government's legislated funding obligation kicked in.
Continue reading "UBS – the unnecessary loan" »
PORT MORESBY – I’ve been reading about guys in the forestry business and thought I might share some of my own experiences.
Cloudy Bay Timbers, owned and operated by the Papua New Guinea Sustainable Development Program before the expropriation of Ok Tedi Mine, was a perennial loss-maker although it was operated with all the right intentions and using 'industry best practice'.
Continue reading "Is sustainable forestry a fantasy?" »
The carcasses of massive ore trucks still lined up in the derelict Panguna mine, closed more than 30 years ago after guerilla warfare erupted
| Guardian Australia | Extract
SYDNEY - The president of the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) has accused an Australian-linked mining company of lying to the Australian Securities Exchange over its plans to reopen one of the world’s largest copper mines.
In a scathing statement, ABG president John Momis accused the Australian-linked RTG Mining of “lies and deceptions” and said his government “will not rest until all RTG and their executives are banned for life from Bougainville and Papua New Guinea”.
Continue reading "Momis accuses mining company of lying" »
Sam Koim - former corruption buster, now the new Commissioner-General of PNG's Internal Revenue Commission
| New Head of the Internal Revenue Commission | Edited extract
PORT MORESBY - My vision for the Internal Revenue Commission [IRC] is: “building the foundations of a robust, modern and efficient tax administration”.
Albert Einstein once said “intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them”. It is logical, not necessarily genius, to find lasting preventative measures instead of costly and repetitive firefighting solutions.
Continue reading "Sam Koim’s new appointment" »
JEFF LEWIS & MELANIE BURTON
| Reuters | Extract
MELBOURNE - Barrick Gold is set to elevate its troubled Papua New Guinea mine to its top-tier assets, despite landowner and government demands to cede a larger stake and deteriorating security at the joint venture with China's Zijin Mining.
With a 20-year lease renewal application in the balance, Barrick has faced backlash from PNG landowners and residents.
Continue reading "Barrick Gold forges ahead" »
GRANT WALTON & SINCLAIR DINNEN
| Devpolicy Blog
CANBERRA - As anyone who has visited Papua New Guinea in the past 20 years can attest, the private security industry is booming.
Office buildings are often only accessible by passing by rolls of sharp barbed wire, pointed fences and uniformed guards with large caps.
Continue reading "Regulating private security in PNG" »
James Marape and Australian high commissioner Bruce Davis - PNG's problems are bound to be Australia's problems too
JONATHAN BARRETT & CHARLOTTE GREENFIELD
SYDNEY & WELLINGTON - Papua New Guinea’s annual debt repayments to China are forecast to increase 25% by 2023, new budget figures show, at the same time as the Pacific nation falls to its largest ever deficit.
The resource-rich country, which is at the centre of a diplomatic tussle between China and the United States, has blamed extravagant spending by the previous administration for its souring finances, which will require the government to borrow even more to pay the bills.
Continue reading "Cash crunch as debt repayment soars" »
5G technology is another arena of big power rivalry, with PNG caught between US and Chinese interests
WEWAK - Big data mining and the new science of singularity and its application in nanotechnology, nanobiology, machine learning and manufacturing have crept up on us in Papua New Guinea.
The announcement by the PNG government’s telco provider, Kumul Telikom, that it had reached an agreement with Huawei of China to roll out 5G starting in urban centres in 2020 threw our small science and engineering community into disarray.
Continue reading "5G, PNG & big power politics" »
Eastern Highlands mushrooms
| My Land, My Country | Edited extracts
LAE - Usually the mushrooms we get in Papua New Guinea are expensive and the technology behind them is a mystery.
But in Goroka, a team of Chinese scientists from the Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University are teaching Eastern Highlanders how to grow their own mushrooms.
Continue reading "Highlands mushrooms ready for market" »
Women play a prominent role in PNG agriculture (Johnny Blades)
| Radio New Zealand
PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea's treasurer, Ian Ling-Stuckey, is encouraging citizens to work their land and develop agriculture ventures.
Mr Ling-Stuckey said significant funding had been allocated to the agriculture sector in the 2020 budget, in particular to assist cocoa, coffee and fresh produce development.
Continue reading "Work your land says treasurer" »
Dr Momis expressed disgust at the Kalia Group for allowing its geologist into an area where there were criminal elements resisting exploration. He has suspended the company's mining licence
| Radio New Zealand | Extracts
BUKA - A geologist has been killed in Bougainville by what president John Momis has described as a group of criminal thugs.
The victim, Terry Win Kilya, from Enga Province was an employee of Kalia-Toremana Joint Venture Limited, which has been conducting mineral exploration in a disputed area.
Continue reading "Geologist killed by B’ville ‘thugs’" »
Phil Fitzpatrick - "These days the strategic value of the small Pacific island nations is just as much a commodity as oil, gas and metals"
TUMBY BAY - Ever since neo-liberalism gained ground in the 1990s governments have persistently used economics to define their policies.
Neo-liberalism is used to refer to market-oriented policies such as eliminating price controls, deregulating capital markets, lowering trade barriers and reducing state influence in the economy, especially through privatisation and austerity.
Continue reading "Alas, everything’s a deal these days" »
BCL is tiring of Osikaiyang landowners who under the Bougainville Mining Act have no status in representing landowners and own no mineral rights
| Bougainville Copper Ltd
BUKA - Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) says it is both regrettable and disappointing to see members of the Special Mining Lease Osikaiyang Landowners Association (SMLOLA) issuing misleading and provocative statements following Bougainville’s peaceful and successfully conducted referendum.
BCL again repeat its calls for SMLOLA to desist from purporting to speak on behalf of all Panguna landowners as part of its ongoing campaign to undermine Bougainville Copper Ltd.
Continue reading "Osikaiyang landowners out of order" »
PORT MORESBY - A photo posted on Facebook showing dried freshwater fish at Wewak market has sparked a discussion on the future of the Sepik River.
In the river’s headwaters, the Frieda copper and gold mine is pushing ahead with its development plans.
The Sepik is 1,100km long and empties into the Bismarck Sea. The river system’s 430,000 people use the river for food, education, transport, health and culture.
Continue reading "Saving the Sepik from Frieda mine" »
Porgera landowners protest against Canadian company Barrick Gold Ltd
| Radio New Zealand | Edited
AUCKLAND - Papua New Guinea's prime minister James Marape has urged patience while negotiations continue over the contract for the Porgera gold mine.
Canadian company Barrick Gold Ltd, which operates the mine in Enga Province with China's Zijin Mining Group, is pushing to renew its contract.
Continue reading "Marape urges patience over Porgera" »
Kina Bank's equity boost from the Asian Development Bank will help promote its lending to small business customers
| Asian Development Bank
PORT MORESBY - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has made a $10 million (K34 million) equity investment into Kina Securities Limited, a fast-growing financial services company in Papua New Guinea.
The investment will help to increase the availability of sustainable financial services and support growth in PNG.
Continue reading "ADB helps Kina Bank improve services" »
Sir Mekere Morauta - "Foreign consultants have been boasting of their potentially dominant market power "
SIR MEKERE MORAUTA | Edited
PORT MORESBY - Arrangements between two foreign consultancies and the Mineral Resources Development Corporation to build power plants might be treating PNG landowners as fronts to ship out millions of kina.
Under arrangements I’ve been made aware of, the interests of foreign companies seem to have been given preference over a cheap and reliable national power supply and financial returns to the PNG LNG landowner groups who have invested in MRDC’s power-generation plans.
Continue reading "Something fishy about MRDC deal" »
Ian Ling Stuckey - During the O'Neill regime “every year the average living standard of every person went backward by over K100”
| EMTV Online | Edited
PORT MORESBY - The Papua New Guinea government is projecting a tough year in 2020 as it contends with a shrinking economy and a K4 billion budget deficit.
Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey has handed down a K18.7 billion budget whilst issuing a scathing attack on former prime minister Peter O’Neill for what he described as the “mismanagement of the PNG economy”.
Continue reading "Debt repayment: Tough year 2020" »
Raymond Masono - "“Panguna is the most likely project that can bankroll Bougainville’s independence from PNG”
| Reuters | Extract
SYDNEY — Bougainville vice-president Raymond Masono said he will revive a plan to overhaul the region’s mining laws after its ongoing independence referendum, which could strip the former operator of the Panguna gold and copper project of its interests.
The proposed changes, which have been criticised by Panguna landowners, would also erase an interest in the project held by the Papua New Guinea government, potentially complicating negotiations between the two governments after the referendum.
Continue reading "B’ville to revive mining proposal" »
James Marape and Scott Morrison - Australia's billion kina loan equals about what PNG lost in its ill-fated venture into Oil Search
| Australian Financial Review | Extracts
SYDNEY - Australia will loan Papua New Guinea $442 million (K1 billion)) in direct budget assistance designed to secure essential government services and rebuff financial overtures from China.
The Morrison government agreed to the loan request from PNG prime minister James Marape, offering immediate financial support linked to his plans for longer-term economic reforms in the struggling nation.
Continue reading "Australia to loan PNG K1 billion" »
Port Moresby's new Gordons Market - symbol of progress or another chance to sink into chaos and anarchy?
BUSA JEREMIAH WENOGO
PORT MORESBY - The much talked about refurbished Gordons Market was officially opened on the 31 October at a cost of K30 million, most of the funds coming from the New Zealand Government and the National Capital Development Commission.
The market is said to be the biggest fresh produce market in the Pacific and will cater for up to 1,500 vendors.
Continue reading "Is Gordons a turning point for PNG markets?" »
Ian Ling-Stuckey and his Treasury team – “The budget process is a tough one – a demanding one requiring balancing different claims on a very limited pot of money”
IAN LING-STUCKEY MP
| PNG Treasury Minister
PORT MORESBY - Budget repair is difficult. It requires an honest approach, one that exposes the economic lies of the O’Neill years.
It requires an ability to make tough decisions, such as the K1,482 million spending cuts in the 2019 supplementary budget.
Continue reading "Limited pot of money, says Treasurer" »
Landowner Alex Maun in the dying forest near Ok Tedi River. He sued BHP in the 1990s (Alex de la Rue)
| Sydney Morning Herald/The Age
MELBOURNE - A fresh legal dispute has erupted over control of a fund set up to benefit the tens of thousands of villagers affected by mining giant BHP's environmental disaster at the Ok Tedi mine in Papua New Guinea more than 20 years ago.
The Ok Tedi mine – which BHP co-owned with the PNG government until selling its stake in 2002 – discharged tens of millions of tonnes of mine waste into the local river system during the 1980s and 1990s, contaminating fish and trees and devastating the area's economy.
Continue reading "Ok Tedi locked in new legal fight" »
PORT MORESBY - Last month, I went for an interview for a fellowship program to study and work in the United States for a year.
One of the interviewers was interested in something I had stated on my application. It was about a meeting I attended in Tehran, Iran, in June.
Continue reading "Let’s make our country more self-sufficient" »
Models showcase two of Lisa Arut's original designs at the PNG Fashion Week grand finale
PORT MORESBY – “Last night’s Papua New Guinea fashion week extravaganza was mind boggling.
“It was a night of cultural renaissance, an awakening of another kind. Fashion has never been my forte but last night was a night to remember.”
These are the words I entered in my diary last Sunday morning after attending the memorable fashion week grand finale, named appropriately ‘The Awakening the Night Before’.
Continue reading "It was truly a night to remember" »
Eddie Tanago - Act Now has identified 19 measures the government should use to attack corruption
| Campaign Manager | Act Now!
PORT MORESBY - International research shows that corruption is costing Papua New Guinea billions of kina every year. It is ruining our economy and impoverishing the nation.
If the government is serious about making PNG ‘the richest black nation on earth’ then it must introduce a raft of reforms to ensure we have open and transparent government.
Continue reading "Corruption costs billions, trashes economy" »
Treasurer Ian Ling Stuckey - "The former prime minister Peter O'Neill has left PNG with an illegal debt legacy"
IAN LING-STUCKEY MP
| Minister for Treasury | Extracts
PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea’s budget deficit had climbed to K4,636 million – the legacy of former prime minister Peter O’Neill.
Budget deficits add to public debt. This means the O’Neill regime’s policies were going to add another K4,636 million to public debt in 2019. PNG’s public debt was therefore going to increase to an extraordinary K33,045 million.
Continue reading "The true state of PNG’s budget" »
David Kitchnoge - "PNG does have options and we need to go into negotiations knowing what they are"
PORT MORESBY - The fact that the International Monetary Fund admitted its failure in its assistance to Greece showed it was willing to learn from its mistakes and avoid the pitfalls in similar cases.
The key is always that, whatever solution Papua New Guinea adopts to get our economy going again, would be a negotiated outcome with multilateral financial institutions like IMF.
Continue reading "PNG has options to solve its budget crisis" »
Adam Smith did not envisage a world dominated by huge, impersonal corporations but understood the economic and social dangers they posed
ADELAIDE - Like Phil Fitzpatrick (‘Is moral capitalism even possible?’), I have been thinking about whether capitalism can ever be conducted in a moral and ethical way.
And like him, I can remember another time and place where the absence of great corporations meant capitalism worked along the lines foreseen by Adam Smith when he wrote ‘Wealth of Nations’.
Continue reading "Capitalism: No morality outbreak any time soon" »