PNG set to revamp mineral resources regulation

25/08/2011

<p style="text-align: justify;">Papua New Guinea’s new government has announced that it is embarking on moves to revamp regulation related to mineral resources exploitation in the country.<!--more--></p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Inland and undersea mining and the exploitation of other land and sea resources has propelled GDP growth at the rate of 5 to 5 per cent annually over the past several years.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The country, however, has seen increasing complaints and allegations of corrupt deals between local and national politicians and overseas mining companies, often leading to violence, despite efforts by the government to include local landowners and people in the spoils of the proceeds.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">But these initiatives have not been consistent and that is what the new government appears to want to address. Mining Minister Byron Chan recently spoke about revamping mining policy, making local landowners its centrepiece.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">It is important to include traditional and customary understanding of land and minerals, according to the minister. Most problems with landowners had arisen because PNG had adopted mining legislation based on the Australian laws, where the mineral ownership belongs to the nation rather than landowning communities.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Environmental issues will be included in the revamp of the policy.</p>
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