PNG's mining downturn

PAPUA New Guinea’s mining industry is facing a downturn after 10 years of growth.
PNG's mining downturn
PNG's mining downturn
PNG's mining downturn
PNG's mining downturn
PNG's mining downturn

The PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum says decreasing commodity prices and pressures on production are taking their toll on miners, while the LNG industry is booming.

Executive director Greg Anderson said after 10 years of growth, the industry was experiencing a significant downturn.

"We had a magnificent cross-section of explorers including a very decent suite of majors in joint ventures," he told Pacific Beat.

"Unfortunately many of those have now opted to pull out because of international pressures so it is definitely a challenge.

"We have ... a very significant junior sector but a lot of them are facing great pressures and I am afraid to say some of them will probably disappear."

Anderson said it would definitely have an impact.

"We've got some growth in production, thank goodness, because we have some new projects but they are new and they are not significant tax contributors for some years," he added.

"So it will certainly affect the government's bottom line, particularly in the Ok Tedi situation because the commodity prices for both Ok Tedi products - copper and gold - were very high and they have both slumped."

Anderson said the mining and LNG sectors had diverged quite considerably in the last 18 months because PNG had enjoyed solid growth in both areas for nearly a decade.

"Definitely oil and gas is fortunately doing extremely well still and we have got a very buoyant situation there, particularly for further LNG developments," he said.

"We have got … the potential for further extensions and other developments and other gas developments as well, so this is a very good story for such a small country."

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