22 Sep 2006

PNG government courts foreign miners

4:20 pm on 22 September 2006

Papua New Guinea's Mining Minister, Sam Akoitai, is calling for international mining companies to explore mining prospects in his country.

PNG has this week been courting Australian miners, after creating incentives surrounding new exploration including increased tenures and phasing out mining levies.

In addition, a review of the country's Mining Act is near completion and a new Mineral Resources Authority is being created.

Mr Akoitai says the Authority will aim to ensure that the current responsibility of PNG's Department of Mining, which he describes as having lots of problems, is carried out effectively.

He says PNG has significant appeal to foreign mining investors.

"One-third of the country has been explored and two-thirds has yet to be explored so there is a lot of potential in PNG for exploration and more mining and PNG is now an open country so anyone in the Mining sector can take an interest in PNG."

Sam Akoitai says that PNG wants to use the experiences of the Ok Tedi and Panguna mines to ensure that future mines don't become environmental hazards.