Category Archives: Mining

Court halts Panguna signing

A COURT has issued a restraining order to stop the signing of an agreement between landowners and the Autonomous Bougainville Government regarding the reopening of the Panguna mine.
Justice Ambeng Kandakasi issued the order at the Waigani National Court following an application filed by Philip Miriori, the chairman of the Special Mining Lease Osikaiyang Landowners Incorporated (SMLOLI).
He ordered that the parties to the proposed memorandum of agreement for the redevelopment of the Panguna mine were “forthwith restrained from signing the agreement”.
“If in the event the agreement has already been signed, the parties to that agreement and any person wanting to implement it are forthwith restrained from doing so,” Kandakasi said.
The signing of the agreement would have paved the way for the Bougainville Copper Limited to start work on the mine’s reopening.
The agreement was to have been signed last Friday but was cancelled after women from the area protested.
The court also restrained Lawrence Daveona from acting as the chairman of SMLOLI. The matter will return to court on Friday.
Justice Kandakasi said the order would remain in force unless the parties to the agreement could produce evidence that they had obtained the consent of the more than 500 block holders.


K7.94b deal is on


EXXONMOBIL is expected to complete the transaction for the multi-billion kina acquisition of InterOil this week after the Supreme Court of Yukon gave its approval yesterday.

According to InterOil, ExxonMobil is buying all its assets in a deal valued at US$2.5 billion (K7.94 billion).

On top of that is a contingent resource payment comprising US$7.07 per (InterOil) share for each trillion cubic feet of gas equivalent (tcfe) of gross resource certified in the Elk-Antelope field above 6.2 tcfe – up to a maximum of 10 tcfe. In June last year, Oil Search Ltd made an offer to acquire InterOil. But InterOil’s shareholders voted to accept Exxon’s offer calling it a “superior proposal”.

In a market release by InterOil yesterday, the arrangement was approved by more than 91 per cent of the shares voted at a special meeting last Tuesday and has now received all necessary approvals.

The court granted a final order approving the arrangement between InterOil and ExxonMobil.

A spokesperson for ExxonMobil told The National yesterday that the acquisition of InterOil as envisioned in the amended agreement “continues to represent a significant value to the Government and people of Papua New Guinea, as well as to InterOil shareholders”.

“ExxonMobil looks forward to closing the transaction in accordance with the plan of arrangement,” the spokesperson said.

The acquisition would add more natural gas to Exxon’s portfolio, and offer more reserves to supply for the company’s $19 billion (K58.4 billion) PNG LNG plant.

InterOil holds a 35.5 per cent of petroleum retention license (PRL) 15 of the Papua LNG project in Gulf which it had proposed as a second LNG project in the country.

The majority shareholder is French oil and gas company Total SA. Total yesterday said it had been made aware of the current InterOil and Exxon Mobil transaction status.

Managing director Philippe Blanchard told The National: “Once this transaction is completed, we will welcome ExxonMobil as our new JV (joint venture) partner on PRL-15 and the joint venture will keep progressing the Papua LNG project. The future of InterOil employees is yet to be made public although sources said some would be taken on board by ExxonMobil.

The Independent Consumer and Competition Commission which had been monitoring the transaction since it was announced yesterday that it would assess the court’s decision first before making a comment.

Commissioner and chief executive officer Paulus Ain said earlier this month that it was continuing its independent assessment on the acquisition of InterOil by ExxonMobil.

“The ICCC would like to state that the proposed transaction needed careful review before forming a view on potential adverse implications on competition in Papua New Guinea given the complexity of the different segments (upstream to downstream) of the petroleum industry (in the country) that are likely to be affected,” Ain told The National.


More equity for villagers


PEOPLE from six mine area villages which host the Ok Tedi Mine Project have become the first landowners to own a larger than mandated equity share in any resource project in PNG.

This followed the signing of a benefit-sharing agreement in Alotau, Milne Bay last weekend.
It will see the six mine villages and 152 Community Mine Continuation Agreement (CMCA) villages sharing the 33 percent direct equity interest in the Ok Tedi Mining Limited.

The other parties to the agreement are the State and the Fly River Provincial Government which will sign at a later date.

The parties present at the signing last Saturday included Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari, the Core Group leaders and representatives from the mine area villages, representatives from the CMCA region, Mineral Resource Development Company, and Mineral Resource Star Mountain, Mineral Resources Ok Tedi No. 2, Ok Tedi Mining Limited and the State representative from Mineral Resources Authority.

The National Executive Council decision relating to the granting of the free equity was made in 2014.
The benefit sharing Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) took over two years of negotiation among landowners, the Fly River provincial government and the State.

The share distribution of the 33 per cent equity will see the CMCA group owning 12 percent, the mine area villages 9 percent, the Fly River Provincial Government 12 per cent of which part of its interest will be shared with three districts (North Fly, Middle Fly and South Fly).

The percentage breakup was agreed to by parties through a share distribution agreement in July 2015.
Lupari said the villagers now had one-third direct participation.
“It is for the first time in the history of this country and it’s a big decision for the landowners to have direct participation from OTML,” Lupari said.

According to the agreement, 40 percent of the benefits from the respective shares will be paid in cash to landowners. The other 40 percent will go towards investment purposes and 20 percent towards infrastructure development programmes and projects.

“In my capacity as the chairman of MRDC, I will ensure that we look after your money well,” Lupari said.
MRDC’s managing director Augustine Mano thanked everyone involved in the signing.




Miner reminded that ‘performance is crucial’

Miner Ramu Nico (MCC) Limited has been reminded that its investment in PNG is the single largest of Chinese origin in Papua New Guinea, and therefore its business performance was crucial.

The prompting was from China’s commercial counselor to PNG, Cai Shuizeng, following a tour of the mine’s operations in Kurumbukari and Basamuk in Madang Province recently.

“The company must bear in mind the overall situation and attach great importance to quality, safety and efficiency of this project, and to enhance the co-operation and friendship between the two nations,” Mr Cai said. Mr Cai said he was impressed with what he had seen, and commended the operators of the Ramu nickel and cobalt mine especially for achieving 100 per cent design capacity.


His delegation travelled to Madang late last month to ensure higher safety standards of operation and production, self-checks and self-rectification of all overseas Chinese enterprises including RamuNiCo Mr Cai said the results were impressive, adding that the success of the project would inevitably improve the image of China in PNG and also strengthen the two countries economic and bilateral relationship.

The delegation visited the chromite concentrate stockpile, hydraulic sluicing section, washing plate and beneficiation plant at KBK mine.

In Basamuk they toured the High Pressure Acid Leach (HPAL), neutralisation and product area acid plant, limestone plant, warehouse and wharf and deep landfill areas.

They had sought information on safety production, sales, environment protection, community construction and localisation.

The site management used the opportunity to give the visitors, an update on the mine’s performance. Chairman of RamuNiCo ZongShaoxing, vice president Zhao Deqian and Xujian received the delegation on behalf of the company, and thanked the Mr Cai for his warmness and promised to work hard in delivering the project to the stakeholders successfully.


Kutmor shareholder receive K1m dividend

A total of K1 million has been paid to shareholders of landowner company Kutmor on the eve of Christmas 2016 in Kutubu.

Kutmor is a company owned by landowners from the Kutubu, Mananda, Moran, Benaria, and Lower and Upper Foe areas in the Southern Highlands and Hela Provinces. They have been operating for four years with the Kutmor board approving its first dividend payment of 50 toea per share.


The company was established with assistance from the Oil Search business development team, to enable project area landowners sustain their livelihoods through non royalty-based income streams. Kutmor’s income is derived from various long term service contracts which were initially based on the provision of managerial, administrative and semi-skilled personnel to Oil Search, along with associated plant and equipment.

Over the four year period, Kutmor has diversified to include income streams outside of direct Oil Search contracts and include work such as managing the construction of the Komo to Ajakaiba road and other tax credit and civil work activity.

Shareholding in Kutmor is made up of 14 classes representing people in petroleum development licences (PDL) 5 & 6 in Moran, PDL 2 Kutubu, Lower and Upper Foe. Julian Fowles, executive general manager in Oil Search’s PNG business unit said:

“It is wonderful to see the efforts of our landowners to build new and sustainable businesses in our operating areas paying off in the receipt by Kutmor shareholders of this substantial dividend. Kutmor provides a reliable and high quality service to Oil Search and they look forward to continue to working together to build on their  joint experience.

ICCC continues assessment

By The National

THE Independent Consumer and Competition Commission is continuing its independent assessment on the acquisition of Inter Oil by ExxonMobil, Commissioner and chief executive officer Paulus Ain says.
“The ICCC would like to state that the proposed transaction needed careful review before forming a view on potential adverse implications on competition in Papua New Guinea given the complexity of the different segments (upstream to downstream) of the petroleum industry (in the country) that are likely to be affected,” Ain told The National yesterday.
“At this stage, the ICCC’s investigation is still ongoing.”
On October 13 last year, the ICCC issued ExxonMobil a statutory notice pursuant to section 128 of the ICCC Act requesting certain information and documents relating to its acquisition of Inter Oil’s interests in the Papua LNG project.

Earns Exxon Mobile
“The deadline for ExxonMobil to provide the information and documents requested in the Statutory Notice was November 3, 2016,” he said. “On November 2, 2016, ExxonMobil executives met with Internal Consumer and Competition Commission staff and presented its response to the Statutory Notice.
“The ICCC is currently reviewing ExxonMobil’s submission and other information it has obtained.
“It will advise of its position once it has completed reviewing the documents and information before it.”
Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal of Yukon in Canada has upheld the appeal lodged by Inter Oil founder Phil Mulacek regarding the acquisition by ExxonMobil. Inter Oil, in a market release, said then the Court of Appeal of Yukon had overturned the Supreme Court of Yukon’s approval of the pending transaction with ExxonMobil on October 7 last year.
Inter Oil says it believes that the current arrangement agreement represented compelling value for all Inter Oil shareholders.
Inter Oil and ExxonMobil said they were considering the court’s ruling and are determining a path to closing the transaction.

ExxonMobil: New Gas Discovery at Papua New Guinea Well

By: Rigzone Staff

Exxon Mobil Corporation announced Wednesday a new natural gas discovery in the Papua New Guinea North Highlands, 13 miles northwest of the Hides Gas Field.

The Muruk-1 well encountered similar high-quality sandstone reservoirs as the Hides field and was in line with pre-drill expectations, according to an Exxon statement. The well was safely drilled to 10,630 feet, with evaluations currently underway to determine the size of the discovery.


Exxon Mobil Corporation announced Wednesday a new natural gas discovery in the Papua New Guinea North Highlands, 13 miles northwest of the Hides Gas Field

“We are excited by the results of the Muruk-1 exploration well, which confirms the presence of hydrocarbons in the same high-quality sandstone reservoirs as the Hides field that underpins the PNG LNG project,” said Steve Greenlee, president of ExxonMobil Exploration Company.

“Over the coming months we will work with our co-venturers to better determine the full resource potential,” he added.

“ExxonMobil has been involved in exploration in Papua New Guinea since the 1930s. The Muruk exploration success demonstrates the strength of ExxonMobil’s long-term investment approach and reaffirms its commitment to Papua New Guinea,” Greenlee concluded.

Drilling operations at the Muruk-1 well began on Nov. 2. The well is located in petroleum prospecting license 402, which covers 126,000 acres.

Interest owners in the well are ExxonMobil (42.5 percent), Oil Search Limited (37.5 percent) and Barracuda Limited, a subsidiary of Santos Limited (20 percent, subject to regulatory approval), with Oil Search as operator

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