Opposition Leader Patrick Pruaitch says Jerry Garry has excellent credentials and an impressive track record for his new role as Managing Director of the Mineral Resources Authority.
Mr Pruaitch said Mining Minister Johnson Tuke had done well in making this appointment and it was clear this has happened because good procedures were followed with minimal political interference.
Mr Garry takes over the helm of MRA at a time of considerable uncertainty in the global economy and rising confidence about implementation of major new projects.
“He will have the honour of leading one of PNG’s most competent government organisations which, under former Managing Director Philip Samar, has built a highly professional organisation that is respected by industry for its regulatory role over exploration and mining activities.
“As an economic geologist with global experience it is pleasing to hear Mr Garry’s confident remarks that the minerals sector will continue to play an important role in the PNG economy for at least another 100 years.
“Mr Garry will have the important task of steering planned development of the multi-billion-dollar Wafi-Golpu and Frieda River copper-gold projects. Part of this success will flow from steering of the respective development forums to ensure adequate benefit streams flow to landowners and that world class environmental monitoring and management systems are in place,” he said.
Mr Pruaitch noted that the global environment, as well as uncertainties over PNG’s future mineral policies, has contributed to a steady fall in exploration spending from well over K500 million in 2013 to less than K350 million at present.
He said: “Mr Garry well understands that mineral exploration activities contribute to the future well being of the minerals sector.
“Mr Garry brings to his new role a clear understanding of the global climate for mineral sector investment and the necessity for PNG to maintain an attractive investment climate, while ensuring that landowner and community aspirations are also met. His potential input into government proposals for the Mining Act will be greatly welcomed by the Opposition.”