In brief: Mineral Resources Enga signs Porgera deal and other stories

Mineral Resources Enga signs a “step agreement” towards the reopening of the Porgera mine, negotiations for the sale of Telikom PNG and Air Niugini to modernize the fleet. Economic news not to be missed.

The 2022 Business Advantage Papua New Guinea investment conference was held in Brisbane last week. Credit: Stefan Daniljchenko/BAI

Investment

Attendance at the Business Advantage Papua New Guinea 2022 investment conference held in Brisbane last week was above pre-COVID levels. Read our full report here.

Mining

August 18, Mineral Resources Enga (MRE) and the Porgera Gold Mine Landowners finally signed the shareholders’ agreement for the Porgera gold mine. The document is seen as another important step towards the reopening of the Porgera mine, which has been closed since 2019. In a statement, Prime Minister Marape said that “the long-awaited reopening of the Porgera gold mine is finally in sight after yesterday’s stage”. (Office of the Prime Minister)

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Canadian mining company K92 Mining reported strong financial results for the second quarter of 2022. The company reported net profit of approximately US$5.1 million (K17.5 million), representing a 17% increase from the same quarter of last year. Quarterly revenue was $37.4 million (approximately K128.6 million), an increase of 5% over the same quarter last year. (K92)

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John Kuwimb, current director of Kumul Minerals Holdings, reportedly said his “contract will expire on August 18”. He reportedly said the company had decided not to renew his contract but to “get him published and bring in a new hire”. His comments come in response to news suggesting that Kumul Mineral Holdings has appointed former treasurer Dairi Vele as its new chief executive. (The National)

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Immigration

The PNG Citizenship and Immigration Authority (ICA) opened a new 80,000K office at Motukea International Terminal. ICA Migration Officer Stanis Hulahau said of the new facility: “The role of officers who will be working here now is to clear or physically process people arriving on ships, yachts, ocean liners cruise ships and fishing vessels, logging vessels, cargo vessels, especially foreign ones (Le National)

Energy

Prime Minister Marape and a delegation of senior officials recently visited Singapore to meet Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) representatives and move the conversation forward on the company’s intention to harvest clean energy in PNG. Marape said that since 2021, FFI has set up project sites in the Gulf Province for hydropower and in West New Britain for geothermal. (Office of the Prime Minister)

During the visit to Singapore, the newly re-elected Prime Minister also continued conversations with various representatives on Papua LNG, Pasca LNG, P’nyang, Porgera and Wafi-Golpu. (The National)

Aviation

Air Niugini plans to replace two of its Boeing 767s next year when the company celebrates its 50th anniversary. CEO Bruce Alabaster reportedly said the airline was also considering replacing its fleet of Fokker and narrow-body Boeing 737s.

“We are delighted to get our aircraft replaced and we are doing much better than during the COVID period, so we look forward to the next five exciting years,” he said. (Post-mail)

Telecommunications

A final decision on the partial privatization of the public company telco Telikom PNG Ltd will be achieved by the government, with pension funds apparently having priority in the process.

Acting General Manager of Kumul Consolidated Holdings, David Kavanamur, said: “We are looking for a partner and hope that we should complete it.” But (it is) depending on what is on the table and what they offer for the assets offered in the market. There is a certain price that we negotiate with potential buyers. (The National)

National

At the end of December last year, government debt was 48.1 billion Kenyans. The debt, according to Benny Popoitai, acting governor of the PNG bank, includes K25.2 billion from domestic sources and K22.9 billion from external sources. It accounts for 51.6% of PNG’s gross domestic product. (Post-mail)

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The Independent Consumer and Competition Commission announced it would postpone its review of the cabotage industry to 2023. (Post-Courier)

Agribusiness

SoNational Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) is piloting a sweetpotato conservation and utilization project in different primary schools in PNG. The NARI sweet potato project aims to prepare a new generation of farmers and get them to develop skills sooner than expected. (Post-mail)

Pictures of the week

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The 2022 Business Advantage Papua New Guinea Investment Conference was held on August 15-16 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. Attendees heard about the latest trends in telecommunications and cybersecurity and got updates on key sectors of PNG’s economy, including mining, infrastructure and SMEs. See you next year!

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