New governor says 'yes' to Wafi-Golpu

MOROBE Province, under new Governor Luther Wenge, has agreed to allow joint venture partners Newcrest and Harmony move ahead with the K18.5 billion gold-copper Wafi-Golpu project, withdrawing the court cases it filed against the joint venture.
New governor says 'yes' to Wafi-Golpu New governor says 'yes' to Wafi-Golpu New governor says 'yes' to Wafi-Golpu New governor says 'yes' to Wafi-Golpu New governor says 'yes' to Wafi-Golpu

An artist's impression of what the deep sea tailings process unit might look like

Staff Reporter

Wenge said the province was ready to sign the mining lease agreement to accept the mine, and the deep sea tailing placement (DSTP) method of mine waste disposal.
Newcrest and Harmony each own 50% of the Wafi-Golpu project through the Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture.
"I talked with the JV partners last week to get ready because Morobe is ready now," he said.
"Wafi-Golpu will open and the DSTP will go on. Anyone who disagrees can take it to court with their own research and facts."
Wenge addressed the first provincial executive council meeting held at the Tutumang in Lae this week, where he was sworn in with nine MPs.
He said the long-overdue project was a revenue source which Morobe was missing out on because of the delay.
He said all court cases filed by the Morobe government under his predecessor Gibson Saonu would be withdrawn.
"These cases have caused confusion and the rest of PNG and the world are looking at us like we're confused," he said.
He also plans to negotiate the renewal of the Hidden Valley mine lease, The National newspaper reported.
"I will be talking with all our MPs and we must all agree on this," he said.
Wenge also proposed to Treasury Minister Ian Ling-Stuckey to grant Morobe a loan using the government's 30% equity so that the province could buy another 30% equity in Wafi-Golpu.
"We will make sure to maximise (our benefits) off Wafi-Golpu. The experience of Hidden Valley must not be repeated. Morobe must benefit."