PNG LOOKS TO REAP $196 MILLION FROM MINES

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post Courier, July 1) – Papua New Guinea is set to cash in on a massive PGK1 billion [US$351 million] from mining sector revenues as world mineral prices remain high and smelters seek concentrates.

Mining Minister Sam Akoitai said yesterday the country was positioned to reap another massive payout from Ok Tedi Mining Limited, which paid PGK279 million [US$98 million] to the national coffers from last year’s K1 billion profit.

Mr Akoitai said the revenue from the copper and gold miner to the State for this year is expected to increase by 100 per cent according to briefs that he had been given. This means the State is set to receive PGK558 million [US$196 million] after Ok Tedi Mining Limited declares its profit this time next year.

"The world mineral prices have been very good to the country," Mr Akoitai said. "At the moment the smelters are also looking for concentrate and they are offering lower prices for concentrate from mining companies and this is another big boost to companies operating in the country to benefit from this second factor."

Mr Akoitai said this revenue was only from Ok Tedi Mining Limited while other companies such as Lihir Gold Limited and Porgera Joint Venture had not briefed him on their year-to-date operations as yet.

He said Ok Tedi Mining Limited had been doing very well so far after posting a massive profit for last year.

Meanwhile, other exploration projects in the mining sector had also showed positive results and some of them would be advanced to pre-feasibility study phases. Mr Akoitai said a government delegation had met with officials from Chinese Metallurgical and Construction Company and construction phase of this multi-billion kina project would be brought forward to October.

He also said the company (MCC) met him in person and assured him that they would not operate on a fly-in, fly-out basis but had accepted the level of commitment shown by the Papua New Guinea Government and opted to build a satellite town in the country.

"I will be talking to my colleague Minister for Lands so that a land is made available for a satellite town," Mr Akoitai said. "We have to assist the developer build a satellite town in Papua New Guinea."

July 3, 2006

PNG Post Courier Online: www.postcourier.com.pg/

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