This was said by Mines Minister Johnson Tuke when he addressed the 15th PNG Mining and Petroleum Conference in Sydney this week.
He said the future looked very encouraging for the mineral sector as it headed toward a new decade.
"The Mineral Resources Authority has calculated the mineral reserve and resource (expressed as contained metal) within the current operating or approved mines, and also within the advanced exploration licence areas.
"These estimates are only released if a measured or indicated resource has been certified under an internationally recognised standard such as the JORC code."
He said from the data, the major mineral resources which could be potentially be recovered in PNG would include:
• Gold: 72 million ounces.
• Copper: 1.6326 billion tonnes
• Nickel: 1 million tonnes.
If included, the advanced exploration projects at Wafi-Golpu (Newcrest) and Frieda River (PanAust) increased the numbers by:
• Gold: 38.1216Moz
• Copper: 21.2932Mt
• Nickel: 2.8550Mt
"This provides a staggering figure of K977.5 billion (or over K1 trillion if cobalt resources of K63 billion are included) for potential future mineral export revenue over the next 30-40 years.
"Royalty on this sum would be potentially K19.55 billion at the current rate of 2%," Tuke said.