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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, April 30) – Papua New Guinea is at an exciting time with major export minerals trading at their highest prices. World gold price is now at 25-year high of US$628.90 an ounce, while copper and silver are both trading internationally at US$7,147 per ton and US$1,246.50 per ton respectively.

Other minerals are also trading at their highest prices in a long time.

Secretary for the Department of Mining James Wanjik said yesterday Papua New Guinea’s mineral sector was at its exciting time with increased revenue expected from the sector while world prices for different minerals were at their highest levels.

"It is definitely an exciting time for the country. The good news is that for the existing mines and the exploration and mining companies that are considering investing in Papua New Guinea," Mr. Wanjik said. "For the existing mines, the high prices of minerals will assist in repaying some of their loans as well as fund some of their expansion plans while the high prices will help new mining companies to raise capital to start operations or find joint venture partners willing to invest in mineral projects."

He also said mining companies operating in the country were expected to report "milestones" results again next year should the high prices of gold, copper and silver remained at these levels.

Ok Tedi mining, which specializes in copper and gold, reported a massive profit of PGK1 billion [US$350.9 million] for the year ended December 31, 2005, while last year had also been a good year for the world old class miner Lihir gold mine.

While Lihir Gold Limited reported a profit of more than US$9 million, much of that money will be re-invested into the business to increase the wealth of shareholders of the company. Lihir has also been the most traded stock on the stock markets.

May 1, 2006

Papua New Guinea Post-Courier:

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