Papua New Guinea's Attorney General says foreign investors need the assurance that the state has ownership of minerals rather than tribal groups.
Sir Arnold Amet says recent calls for changes in the law to government control of what is six or more feet underground are mischievous.
He says the country couldn't have developed without legislation that allowed governments to spread the benefits of resource developments throughout the whole country.
Sir Arnold says successive governments have never tried to change the regime, for good reason.
"The cold hard fact and reality going into the future if these people paused and thought about all of this is how on earth are we ever going to provide the incentive and security for international developers to come to partner with government, with the security provided by government, to develop these major resources. It's not tenable."