Papua New Guinea's Chamber of Mine and Petroleum has warned that proposed changes to the Mining Act 1992 would cripple future resource development in the country.
Proposed amendments in a parliamentary bill being driven by the North Fly MP, Boka Kondra, aim at giving ownership over minerals to landowners.
Currently under mining legislation, the government owns all resources discovered six feet below the surface.
The Chamber's executive director Greg Anderson says that the arguments presented for private ownership of resources are misleading and simplistic.
He says the proposed changes mean explorers and developers have no guarantee over security of tenure.
"At the moment, PNG has an international system that's well recognised. It's been very successful in resource development, as proven by our current successes. And if you destabilise that, it's a very major change to the goal posts. You will certainly lose a great deal of investment."