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" »
LUFA - There's disagreement about whether Papua New Guinea is rich or impoverished.
Many people, including leaders like Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare and current prime minister James Marape, support the view that we are in fact rich.
Many others, including myself, differ. We believe Papua New Guinea is a poor nation.
Continue reading "Rich paradise or poor third world nation?" »
Cultivating kaukau in the highlands - there are 1,000 varieties of sweet potato in PNG alone
TUMBY BAY - According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, the sweet potato is the world’s seventh most important crop in terms of the weight of food produced.
Sweet potato was first domesticated in the Americas more than 5,000 years ago but didn’t reach Papua New Guinea until about 500 years ago.
When it did it created major shifts in settlement patterns and accelerated population growth.
Continue reading "Could PNG’s kaukau crops be threatened?" »
Leonard Roka on the shore at Kangu - looking across to the Solomons triggers thoughts of the small friends who helped Bougainville achieve its post-crisis peace
LEONARD FONG ROKA
PANGUNA - The population of Bougainville is around 300,000 so, when looking at other small Pacific island states and their standard of living, the province’s development does not need a mine operating at the scale we knew at Panguna before the Bougainville conflict.
All of us know that the Papua New Guinea government does not clothe us, it does not feed us and it does not protect us.
Continue reading "Bougainville: If it’s to be capitalism, let it be moral" »
Inside the John Roka school, but "the able population tilts each day not to education but towards where it smells the money in the burrows"
LEONARD FONG ROKA
PANGUNA – No, I’m not lost from my PNG Attitude family; just accumulating more energy living in the midst of the corporate-mining-politics ridden Panguna mountains trying to educate my young people in a little early childhood institution.
It’s known locally as the John Roka Memorial School and was established by my siblings in honour of our West New Britain father, John Roka, killed by the Bougainville Revolutionary Army in that terrible civil war.
Continue reading "We stripped & skinned; but money’s not security" »
Paul Kastas & his wheelbarrow load of yakait seedlings - just 10 kina each
PORT MORESBY – Just recently I was proud to see Paul Kastas at Waikele Market in Port Moresby.
I knew him because many years ago he used to sell Enga Nius for us on the streets of Wabag. We lived in the same location at Aipus in Wabag town.
Now, here at a market in Moresby, he was selling something very important in Enga society - yakait (also known as tokak) seedlings.
Continue reading "Engan yakait seeds selling like crazy in Moresby" »
Ian Ling-Stuckey - "Poor national budgets have distorted development planning and service delivery"
PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guinea’s treasurer, Ian Ling-Stuckey, has said the O’Neill government’s mismanagement of the economy has crippled the nation’s cash flows.
“There is some bad news coming but this government has already commenced work on solutions,” Mr Ling-Stuckey said in a media release.
Continue reading "PNG cash flow crippled says Treasurer" »
Prized big pig in the main street of Tari (Albert Tagua)
| An entry in the Crocodile Prize
SONOMA – The highlands province of Hela is host to a multi-billion dollar liquefied natural gas project. But operating alongside the wonders of modern technology is a culture full of rich tradition and custom.
Hela functions on the patrilineal system, where the man owns everything: the land, the pigs and he is the heir of the father’s riches, knowledge of the sacred rites and traditional history.
Continue reading "Hela: Will the people avenge Big Pig LNG?" »
ADELAIDE - The sanctions imposed upon Iran by the USA are causing a huge amount of damage to that country’s economy.
The people of Iran, as distinct from the ruling regime, are suffering a great deal as a consequence.
What surprised me was that an apparently quite closed and tightly controlled economy like Iran’s was so susceptible to the influence of the US government’s edicts.
Continue reading "Neo-colonialism: It’s not personal; it’s just business" »
Ian Ling-Stuckey - "The PNG economy has been struggling and bleeding. Budget prospects for 2019 are extremely difficult. There is bad news coming"
NEWS DESK | Radio New Zealand | Edited
PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea is in an "increasingly fragile fiscal position" and an "economic hole", according to PNG's new Treasury Minister Ian Ling-Stuckey.
The precarious situation was revealed by a check of the government's finances by treasury and economic officials.
Continue reading "PNG in 'economic hole' says new treasurer" »
Continue reading "Did 'presource curse' just deliver a pile of dung?" »
Children on an oil palm estate - life in camps with no schools and their birthright disappearing
NEWS DESK | Sarawak Report | Edited extract
SARAWAK, MALAYSIA - Dayak landowners of Sarawak will take no pleasure, but experience little surprise, in hearing how the people of Papua New Guinea have been ill-treated by logging and oil palm plantation conglomerates based in East Malaysia.
These are companies who first robbed Sarawakians of their land rights before extending operations into virtually all the remaining timber reserves on the planet.
Continue reading "Malaysian companies exploit oil palm workers" »
John Gilmour - Scottish-born Australian former judge and expert in commercial law will join Sir Salamo Injia in UBS-Oil Search inquiry
JONATHAN BARRETT | Reuters
SYDNEY - Papua New Guinea will start preliminary hearings on Thursday 19 September into the terms of a K2.8 billion loan from Swiss bank UBS used for an ill-fated government investment in the gas sector, the inquiry’s chairman said on Monday.
The timetable and terms of reference, released for the first time, also include a focus on how the UBS loan used to buy a government stake in PNG-focused energy firm Oil Search was obtained, whether it resembled previous loans, and whether the government broke its own rules in taking out the loan.
Chairman Salamo Injia, a former chief justice, said in a statement that retired Australian judge John Gilmour would also join the inquiry as a second commissioner.
“The appointments of [an] overseas commissioner and counsel were necessary given the international dimensions of the UBS transactions,” Salamo said.
Continue reading "Date set for UBS loan inquiry; Australian judge will assist" »
Western District's upriver port on the Fly River at Kiunga - what happens when the copper, gold and silver run out?
PORT MORESBY – On the first Thursday in June, soon after Oil Search chief executive Peter Botten addressed the 244th Sydney Mining Club forum over luncheon in Australia, a mother and her two sons drowned in the remote South Fly District of Papua New Guinea’s Western Province.
The tragedy which took the lives of the mother and her child and an infant occurred after a boat they were travelling in with relatives capsized in rough waters at the mouth of the Karu River. They left behind the father, a Port Moresby-based police officer, and three older siblings.
The family travelling in the ill-fated boat was on its way to the village of Sepe on the West Kiwai coast, escorting for burial the body of a deceased police officer from Port Moresby.
Continue reading "Can two of PNG's most depressed regions converge & prosper?" »