A EUROPEAN Union (EU)-funded geological survey has found relatively high mineral potential in the country’s highlands region, The National reports.
The survey, covering Eastern Highlands, Chimbu, Western Highlands, Enga and Southern Highlands, was conducted by GEOMAP and the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA).
GEOMAP is a five-year EU-funded project that is part of the mining sector support programme (MSSP) launched in 2006.
The survey data, presented by EU officials to Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Abal, showed 48 elements including copper, gold, silver, zinc, chromium and nickel among other minerals.
EU acting head of delegation Dr Ray Beese said the project was to help the PNG government identify the mineral potential
of the country.
He said the project also included certain parts of
Beese said the geological survey in the Wabag area revealed quite interesting potential of copper and other minerals.
GEOMAP chief geologist Dr John Aspden said the survey was to help provide information to the mining sector.
“Eight mining companies, including Barrick, BHP and Rio Tinto have bought the data which is strategic information needed to mine the resources.
“The mineral potential is very high based on the results we have so far,” Aspden said.
“Because of Porgera, Yandera and Frieda mines, the survey worked in between these areas to identify new potential mineral deposits,” he said.
Abal, who is also Wabag MP, said he was alarmed by the number of prospects available in the highlands.
“We want to participate in mineral wealth and this kind of information is vital.
“The geological survey map gives the people and government a big advantage to plan ahead on how to participate in the projects,” Abal said.
“We welcome the EU support that will give investors the opportunity to do desk-top analysis on the data.”