28 Aug 2009

PNG mining leader says a law change could cripple industry

6:55 am on 28 August 2009

The executive director of Papua New Guinea's Chamber of Mines and Petroleum says that proposed changes to the Mining Act 1992 will not solve problems with accountability which hamper the flow of benefits of mining to the provinces.

Proposed amendments in a parliamentary bill supported by various provincial governors, 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 Greg Anderson says that the proposed changes mean explorers and developers have no guarantee over security of tenure and would cripple future resource development in the country.

"All levels need to account for the money they've received and how it's spent. The provincial governments have received hundreds of millions of kina from our resource projects - those that are hosting major developments. But they don't explain adequately to the people what is being done, where it's gone and what are their development proposals for the future."

Greg Anderson