Govt mining updates

THE Papua New Guinean government’s Tolukuma gold mine remained shrouded in mystery as talks with landowners resumed last week, while Vice Mining Minister Wera Mori was recently arrested over fraud charges.
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The operational status of the Tolukuma gold mine does not appear to be well known in PNG.

A typically well-informed source could not fully confirm to whether the mine was running.

"I think it is," was the best the source could offer.

The state-owned and operated mine in Central Province was halted due to industrial action in May and there has been scant reporting on it since.

Talks over a revised memorandum of agreement between government and landowner officials were held at Loloata Island Resort near Port Moresby last week - but none of the various media outlets reporting on it provided any insights into whether the mine was operating.

A remote and logistically challenging mine, Tolukuma undoubtedly faced additional margin pressure, like other mines in the country, since gold prices started to tumble in April.

In other government-related mining news, Mori was arrested on Thursday and later released on bail.

According to Radio New Zealand, the vice mining minister faces more than 30 counts of fraud, conspiracy and false pretence, with the charges relating to millions of missing kina designated for work on the Chimbu section of the Highlands Highway.

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