3 Oct 2012

PNG's PM says potential benefits from Wafi-Golpu gold and copper huge

6:19 am on 3 October 2012

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister says the potential benefits for the country from the Wafi-Golpu gold and copper resource are huge.

Peter O'Neill was speaking ahead of today's visit to Morobe province deposit accompanied by the chairman of the Wafi-Golpu Project co-developer Harmony Gold, Patrice Motsepe.

In recent days, South Africa-based Harmony, along with its joint venture partner Newcrest Mining, announced the deposit could support a mine worth 9.8 billion US dollars.

PNG's government has an option to take up to a 30% stake in the mine.

The newspaper, The National, reports Mr O'Neill saying work underway on the Lae sea port and his government's plan to upgrade key roads that link the project to the port will greatly enhance production.

In his meeting with Mr Motsepe, the Prime Minister is expected to discuss PNG's fiscal and regulatory regime, and the involvement of provincial government and landowners in resource projects.