A European Union funded geological survey has found relatively high mineral potential in Papua New Guinea's Highlands region.
The National newspaper says the survey, covering Eastern Highlands, Chimbu, Western Highlands, Enga and Southern Highlands, was conducted by GEOMAP and the Mineral Resources Authority.
The survey data shows 48 elements including copper, gold, silver, zinc, chromium and nickel among other minerals.
The Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Abal says the information is vital because PNG wants to participate in mineral wealth.
GEOMAP chief geologist Dr John Aspden says eight mining companies, including Barrick, BHP and Rio Tinto have bought the data which is strategic information needed to mine the resources.
He says the mineral potential is very high based on the results have so far.