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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Chan reassures Chamber of Mines and Petroleum boss

MINING minister Byron Chan has reassured PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum executive director Greg Anderson that the proposed amendment to the Mining Act 1992 will not deter investors.

In a brief meeting with Mr Anderson on Friday the minister said he was looking forward to working with the Chamber to see how best they can fine tune the policy to accommodate all stakeholders in the mining sector.

The minister however said as it is now the current call for the Act to change is a political one and there is a great need for consultation by all stakeholders before it is made a policy.
Minister Chan early last month upon taking office as the new mining minister made a bold policy statement that resource ownership rights must go back to the people.

He outlined that the O’Neill /Namah Government will focus on four key policy Issues that include:
  • Recognition and protection of traditional landowner’s right to mineral ownership on or under their traditional land and seabed;
  • Urgent review of the mining legal regime;
  • Deep-sea mining; and
  • Environmental Protection.  
The ramifications has somewhat made instant ripples on the international scene and what has been described by Mr Anderson as “extremely naive”.

However, minister Chan explained that his statement is principally the same through with greater landowner rights, though the policy would take at least six months before the “policy changes” be brought to Parliament for debate.

Minister Chan said this would take time to properly assess with other existing policies and an appropriate case study to be done by his department, MRA and all industry stakeholders to properly substantiate the proposed changes, though until then the “Status quo remains” business as usual.

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