PNG steps up mining investments


Papua New Guinea’s Lihir gold mine will receive a US$1.3 billion upgrade, if the government’s AIP (approval in principle) follows through to a final approval later this year. This will extend the life of the mine and help boost the local economy of New Ireland province, which has depended on the mining facility for economic sustenance since it began operations in 1997.<!--more-->

The mine has contributed US$1.9 billion to the country’s economy since its establishment. Meanwhile the PNG government has also announced last week that it will take up a 30% stake in the Solwara 1 project in the Bismarck Sea, with Nautilus Minerals retaining a 70% holding in the public-private partnership joint venture. The project is a world first prospecting for commercially exploitable polymetallic seafloor sulphide deposits.

Meanwhile, the European Union’s senior trade official Karel De Gucht will visit Port Moresby on March 21 for the first time on his way back to Europe from his visit to Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand.

"PNG is the country in the Pacific with the highest potentials in economic and trade terms," he has said.