By Peter Kinjap
Papua New Guinea’s Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture in Lae , Morobe Province has announced through a statement that an application for a Special Mining Lease (SML) for the Wafi-Golpu Project was registered yesterday (25/08/16) with the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA).
Project Director Bryan Brailie said the lodgment sees a crucial milestone in the progressing the Wafi-Golpu Project.
“We look forward to work with the government, landowners and other stakeholders,” Mr. Braillie said.
The application follows the review earlier this year by the Board of Directors of both Newcrest Mining Limited and Harmony Gold Mining Company of a project feasibility study and pre-feasibility study.
The SML application includes a proposal for development, which incorporates the feasibility study report and supporting documents such as a national content plan, which underpins land ownership study, sets out the proposed approach to workforce and supplier development and community investments including potential employment and local business opportunities.
It is anticipated that, if developed, the project will make a substantial positive impact to Papua New Guinea’s economy at both a national and provincial level. It will be the first major large-scale resource project in the Morobe Province since the Hidden Valley mine commenced operations in 2009.
“The Landowner communities would benefit from royalty streams, compensation and community development projects which focus on skills development, local business opportunities, agribusiness, health and education. Key milestones An Environmental Impact Statement is being prepared for the Project and is expected to be lodged with the Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (CEPA) in the near future,” the statement said.
Any future development of the Project will be subject to the grant of an SML and obtaining all other necessary permits, approvals and agreements required from the Government, landowners and other stakeholders, and ultimately approval by the Board of Directors of both Newcrest and Harmony.
The Wafi-Golpu deposit is located approximately 65 kilometres south-west of Lae in the Morobe Province of PNG. Lae is the second largest city in PNG. Newcrest and Harmony each currently own 50% of the Wafi-Golpu Project through the WafiGolpu Joint Venture. The Independent State of Papua New Guinea retains the right to purchase, at a price pro-rata to the accumulated exploration expenditure, up to a 30% equity interest in the Wafi-Golpu Project, at any time before the commencement of mining. If the State chooses to take up its full 30% interest, the interest of each of Newcrest and Harmony will become 35%.