Tuesday, October 30, 2012

KAML: Strong Q3

THE latest quarterly return achieved by Kina Asset Management Limited (KAML) provides an 11% growth for the nine months of this year, The National reports.

Releasing the latest quarterly report, KAML chairman Sir Rabbie Namaliu said growth had been achieved in each quarter and in the September quarter the investment portfolio increased by K3.6 million, a gain of 9.84%.

The KAML portfolio has risen from K37.3 million last December to K41.05 million at the end of the September quarter.

Sir Rabbie revealed that KAML investment strategy had increased its targeted allocation and benchmarks on domestic equities to between 40% and 50% while international equities in Australia, Asia and other world markets were adjusted to a 50% to 60% range.

“The performance of the domestic-listed equities, international-listed equities and exchange-traded fund exceeded their respective benchmarks, while the global ex Australia performed below the benchmark, “Sir Rabbie said.

KAML generated an investment gain of K4.41 million for the nine-month period representing a return of 11%.

Sir Rabbie mentioned that KAML’s trading strategy continued to be positive and to take advantage of market gains.

“Unfortunately,  the global financial scene continues to have an adverse overarching impact on the regional markets, but despite the continuing dismal global economic instability and caution, local equities continue to provide sound investment opportunities,” he said.

“Our fund manager Kina Funds Management Ltd has been prudent in working consistently in line with our overall trading strategy with very impressive results.”

“The successful growth of PNG and Pacific-based companies has been responsible for the ongoing consistent growth.

“The increase in the portfolio was also attributable to the valuation gains of listed equities and dividend received.”

Sir Rabbie said that in the first-half of this year, PNG continued to experience high economic growth which was indicated by increased employment and the value of sales in the private sector.

Kalinoe: Nautilus has to settle row



PETROMIN chief executive officer and managing director Joshua Kalinoe is waiting for a dispute between the state and Nautilus Minerals to be resolved before Petromin can take a 30% stake in the Nautilus development worth up to US$500 million, The National reports.

Kalinoe said this yesterday at a luncheon he held with members of the media while refusing to go into details of the dispute between state and Nautilus.

“There’s a dispute between the state and the developer (Nautilus),” he said.

“Because of that, we can’t do much.

“We have been nominated (by the state) to participate in the project.

“Until the dispute is resolved, we can’t do much.

“The issue has been disputed by Nautilus, not by the state.

“By doing so, they (Nautilus) are delaying the project, not the state.”

In June Nautilus chief executive Stephen Rogers said that he expects to settle things with Petromin within “months” once the election was over, but that now seemed a more remote possibility.

Nautilus says PNG undertook to help fund the Solwara 1 project  – almost half built –  as part of an agreement signed last year that gave the country 30% ownership, but the go­vernment appears to be digging in its heals over the issue.

In a response in June,  Petromin alleged that Nautilus was the party that breached the terms of the deal and that the state was “therefore entitled to terminate the agreement”.

In late April, Nautilus announced it had signed China’s Tongling Non-Ferrous Metals Group as the first customer for its pioneering PNG sea-floor mine.

The undersea mine was slated to begin production in the fourth quarter of next year, but Nautilus is also facing funding problems concerning its German partner building the US$160 million surface vessel, which is the base for the entire underwater operation.

Nautilus still has some US$100 million cash in the bank.

Kalinoe, meantime, said Petromin was waiting for the final decision on the Gulf LNG project and the Wafi-Golpu project in Morobe to make final decisions.

“Again, we’re waiting for a decision by state on when the project will get formally off the ground,” he said of the Gulf LNG.

On Wafi-Golpu, Kalinoe said Petromin had been nominated by the state and was doing desktop studies as well as those on technical and economic aspects.

“We’re just waiting for the developer Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture to go through the process and wait for the final decisions,” he said.

“This is normal.

“The state nominated us through the minister for mining and the minister for petroleum.”

Monday, October 29, 2012

Quintessential Resources granted exploration licence for PNG porphyry project

By Angela Kean of proactive investors

Quintessential Resources (ASX: QRL) has been granted exploration
licence (EL) 2045 covering the 2,563 square kilometre Aria River
Project in Papua New Guinea which is prospective for porphyry copper
and gold.
Aria River is situated on New Britain Island and is located adjoining
and immediately east of Newcrest Mining (ASX: NCM) and Frontier
Resources' (ASX: FNT) Andewa joint venture project that is currently
being drilled and shows the potential for a large porphyry gold
The Aria River tenement contains the Stoneleigh Prospect, which is a
large zone of anomalous copper, gold, molybdenum and arsenic
associated with a volcanics and limestone and located at the central
western edge of the exploration licence.
Extremely limited historic work by BHP Minerals showed copper of
greater than 0.1% in two different rock types, along with effectively
all the samples collected being anomalous in molybdenum and arsenic
with trace gold.
Quintessential is currently considering joint venture opportunities to
advance the project.

Papua New Guinea's jungle beauties

By Fairfax NZ News

The Rondon Ridge Lodge is high up a mountain and at 4.30am the cloud
is low, sounds are muffled and the night is as black as sin. There is
no-one outside reception. I hear rustling in the bushes and worry
about being bait for a boa constrictor, so I call out. The night
watchman replies. He was as wary of my stealthy footfalls as I was of

A torch beam approaches. It's Joseph Ando, our birding guide. My
friend, Kelly, also a keen birder, joins us and three of us, in
crocodile file, torches bobbing, walk into the jungle and plod up the

There is not much Joseph doesn't know about the birds here. His father
was a bird hunter and Joseph spent his youth in the jungle learning
the ways of birds, catching or killing them. Bird-of-paradise feathers
were worth good money - still are - and the meat of bigger birds
provided a family meal. Joseph learned the names of different birds,
their calls and their habits from his father. He also learned to love
and respect birds and the pristine jungle they live in, so he was
happy to move from being a bird hunter to a guide. Rondon Lodge
sponsored him to get the Western ornithological training that birding
guides require.

Now, like a reformed smoker, he's vehemently against hunting and
hunters don't dare go near his patch of jungle.

By 5.15am there is a hint of dawn and the birds start up: trilling,
tweeting whooping, rasping and crying. One sounds like a machine gun.
We walk to a clearing where dewdrops hang on the tips of fairy bamboo,
and birds come to drink it. The clearing allows us to see clearly into
the canopy.

Kelly and I are keen photographers, but these birds are too high in
the trees for my telephoto lens and just when I get a decent shot
lined up they fly away. I give up on photography and relax into the
delight of seeing them up close with binoculars. It's truly thrilling
and soon I have had clear sightings of five different varieties of
bird of paradise.

Papua New Guinea has myriad extraordinary birds, but birds of paradise
are the stars. The family has 40 species in 14 genera, all but two of
which are found only in Papua New Guinea. The males have extraordinary
feathers, often bright and shiny, which they puff up and turn into
shimmering displays when they dance. This is done to attract smaller,
plain-looking females.
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Birds of paradise are fruit, nut and insect eaters and most often live
high in giant trees. Because they have been hunted for over 2000 years
for their fabulous feathers, they are wary of humans.

The gloriously named king of saxony is a small fellow with two fancy
feathers on the back of his head. These feathers are long and slender
with an iridescent blue tuft on the end and he sits on a high branch
waving them around his body like a cheerleader with flags. He's one of
the machine-gun singers and intermittently lets off a volley to
attract the girls.

A black sicklebill, so named because of his long curved bill, hops
about in the crown of a tree directly above our heads. He's over a
metre long with the longest part being his straight, shiny, black tail
feathers. When he displays he stretches to make himself tall, fans out
his tail like a peacock and flaps his wings.

We also see stephanie's astrapia, a purplish bird of paradise with a
glorious blue, green and purple head.

The best time for birding, that intermediate time between night and
day, is soon gone and so have most of the birds so we walk down the

The lodge's orchid garden is another of Joseph's passions. In his
downtime, Joseph gathers orchid plants from the forest and attaches
them to mid-sized shade trees. The garden is fenced to keep out pigs,
has a stream running through it and there are plenty of orchids in
glorious bloom.

At times like this I particularly love photography. It forces me to
notice the beauty of the often-overlooked details of flowers; their
throats with animal-like tongues and teeth, the hairy backs of buds,
fine iridescent patterns in bright petals and the sweet vanilla-like
perfume some orchids have. I'm awed by the diversity, delicacy and
beauty of these botanical miracles.

There are over 3000 species of orchid in Papua New Guinea, more than
in any other country, and new species are discovered every year. Papua
New Guinea is close to the equator and has complex geology and high
mountains, ensuring a variety of climate and topography, all of which
leads to this impressive biodiversity.

Next morning we are again up before dawn and bump down into Hagen
Valley in Rondon Lodge's little van. Joseph knows where raggiana bird
of paradise gather. Raggiana is one of the most beautiful and famous
of this species; its image is on the country's flag and is the
insignia of the national airlines.

In a row of casuarina trees three of them are busy dancing and showing
off their feathers. They put their heads down and a fountain of peach
plumage shivers along their backs. Their wings shake and flap. They
bob up and down and call the girls with shrill squawks. But there are
no girls around.

Eventually, they fly away, their long peachy feathers trailing behind
and undulating to the rhythm of their wings. As birding moments go
this is unforgettably paradisiacal.


Fly: Pacific Blue to Port Moresby via Brisbane. There are numerous
flights each day between Port Moresby and Mt Hagen on Air Niugini
(airniugini.com.pg) and Airlines PNG (apng.com).

Stay: Rondon Ridge Lodge, on the hill above Mt Hagen, is the latest
addition to the five Trans Niugini Tours lodges in Papua New Guinea.
It's comfortable and cosy, the view is unbeatable and the food and
service are superb. Go birding at dawn and dusk and visit Mt Hagen and
the Waghi villages during the day. All five Trans Niugini Tours'
lodges are in areas with special scenic, cultural and ecological
interest and tailor-made tours, including transport, can be arranged.
Guides are part of the package and safety is not a concern. Further
information: Papua New Guinea Tourism, pngtourism.org.pg.

The Australian Bile File


Big deal – we have won a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council
along with Argentina and that shambles of a place Rwanda.
Buckets of Australian taxpayers' cash has been handed out to bongo
bongo UN members by Rudd,
Gillard and Carr to buy their votes for a position where Australia's
vote means zip. What a disgrace the UN is with its looking on when
the Rwandan genocide filled our TV screens as well as the African
health aid scandals and now the Syrian disaster with lots of UN
tut-tutting but no action.
While we are told thousands of Australians are living below the
poverty line and many Aboriginal Australians are living hopeless
lives, Rudd, Carr and others are busy increasing our foreign aid.
Billions have been squandered over the years and closer to home, DFAT
officials on huge salaries throw away our money in PNG where
corruption exists on both sides of the fence.
Years ago I found that UN employees at mid and lower levels received
huge tax free US$ salaries plus perks such as duty free cars.
It's time that the Coalition researched this aspect and tells us what
the score is.
An Abbott Government should not let itself be snowed by the UN.

New boss for ANZ bank

AUSTRALIA New Zealand (ANZ) Bank chief executive officer for Fiji and
the Pacific Central region Vishnu Mohan has been appointed as the
bank's CEO Pacific.
This will be in addition to the executive position he currently holds.
Mohan, who succeeded Norman Wilson, will be responsible for ANZ's
businesses across 12 Pacific countries and replaces former CEO Pacific
Michael Rowland.
Rowland has taken a new role at ANZ as general manager transformation,
customer experience and business productivity.
Mohan was previously CEO Papua New Guinea and Pacific North West region.
Prior to this, he was an adviser with ANZ's partnership bank AmBank in
Malaysia and spent over 30 years with Standard Chartered Bank in
senior executive roles.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Expansion not part of the Australian Rugby League Commission's vision which will be unveiled in full tomorrow


EXPANSION is expected to be officially put on the backburner on Monday when the ARL Commission unveils its long-term vision for the game.

With a $1 billion-plus broadcast deal now in place, the ARLC will present its strategic plan for 2013-2017 - with expansion and the split of the funding pie amongst the key topics.

A new logo for the NRL will also be revealed as the commission sets out its long-term priorities at Rugby League Central.

Consortiums up and down the eastern seaboard - including groups in Brisbane, Ipswich and the NSW Central Coast - along with others from Perth, Wellington and even Papua New Guinea have been building their case for inclusion for a number of years.

But intent on ensuring the survival and growth of the 16 teams already in the competition, the ARLC is set to announce that expansion is not on the agenda for at least the next five years.

Bid teams were always facing an uphill battle to secure a start from the moment Nine Network boss David Gyngell indicated more games would not drive up broadcast revenue.

The ARLC will confirm a $5 million salary cap for the 2013 season, while clubs are also set to be given an indication on where the cap and the annual grants will head over coming years.

It is anticipated that a greater financial commitment to both grassroots and country football will be announced, with plans for more NRL games to be played in the bush.

There will also be clarification on representative eligibility for both State of Origin and Test football.

The ARLC's strategic plan has been six months in the planning, though there is still no word on who will be empowered to enact the vison, with no word yet on a replacement for former chief executive David Gallop, who was forced out in June.


Chikungunya virus infection in PNG

National Travel Health

On October 3,  2012,  health authorities of Papua New Guinea  have reported confirmed cases of chikungunya virus (CHIKV) infection in the province of Sandaun (West Sepik), north-western region of the country, bordering with Indonesia.

The first cases were reported in June 2012 and have corresponded with an increase in heavy rains in the region [1].

Since the beginning of the outbreak, 633 suspected cases have been reported of which 14 have been laboratory-confirmed [2].

These are the first cases to be reported in PNG, however the vector, Aedes albopictus has been present in the country since 2005 [1].

The WHO in PNG is working with the National Department of Health in the implementation of control measures and providing public information[1].

 CHIKV is a viral infection of humans and non-human primates transmitted by Aedes spp. mosquitoes.

It is endemic in parts of sub-Saharan Africa, the islands of the Indian Ocean, and South and South East Asia. CHIKV does not occur in the UK but cases have been reported in travellers returning from endemic areas, particularly in the Indian subcontinent [3].

In symptomatic illness there is the sudden onset of fever, headache, myalgia and arthralgia.

After two to three days a generalised maculopapular rash can develop.

Most cases recover in three to five days, however, 5-10% of cases can have chronic joint pain, arthritis and fatigue.

Treatment is supportive.

Advice for travellers

There is no vaccine to prevent CHIKV. Travellers to endemic areas can reduce their risk of infection by practising insect bite avoidance measures. Aedes spp. mosquitoes responsible for transmitting CHIKV, are most active during daylight hours. Particular vigilance with bite avoidance should be taken around dawn and dusk.

A map of areas of risk for CHIKV is available from the World Health Organisation.


1. Insitute de Veille Sanitaire. Bulletin Hebdomadaire International No. 368. 3-9 octobre, 2012. In French. [Accessed 19 October 2012]. Available at: http://www.invs.sante.fr/content/download/47413/206694/versio


2. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Communicable Disease threats Report, 7-13 October 2012, 12. [Accessed 19 October 2012]. Available at: http://ecdc.europa.eu/en/publications/Publications/ECDC


3. Health Protection Agency. Chikungunya Epidemological data. Laboratory-confirmed cases of chikungunya by region of travel, England, Wales and Northern Ireland: 2009 – 2010. [Accessed 19 October 2012]. Available at:




HPA: Chikungunya in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

HPA Chikungunya page

New Zealand Foreign Minister visits PNG


Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully will travel to Papua New
Guinea today to meet members of the new government, including Prime
Minister Peter O'Neill and Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato.
The meetings will include discussions on Asia-Pacific regional issues,
trade and investment links, aid, and political and economic
developments in PNG and Bougainville.
Following the meetings in Port Moresby,
Mr McCully will travel to the Highlands region with Mr Pato for a
first-hand look at economic development, agriculture and energy
"This visit comes at an important juncture in the relationship between
Papua New Guinea and New Zealand," Mr McCully says.
"I will be meeting with a new PNG government, formed after elections
in July for which New Zealand provided vital logistical support."
Mr McCully will be accompanied by a small business delegation.

PNG nurses say health care system failing


Papua New Guinea's nurses say the country's health system is failing
to attend to basic patient needs.
These concerns have been raised as PNG hosts a week long nurses
symposium to discuss the various pressures on the country's healthcare
PNG Nurses Association President Emi Kaptigau told the situation seems dire.
"We're encountering so many problems, I don't know how we're going to
address them," she said.
She says PNG's health care system is understaffed and under-equipped
to such a degree it can't treat patients properly.
"The basic services of attending to patients as they come and go,
there is lack of manpower and there is lack of supplies, medical
supplies, drugs, equipment and this has affected us so much that we
are not able to effectively meet the need of the people," she said.
"It's just too much for us to bear at this point in time."
Ms Kaptigau says the best nurses in the government system have left
for the private sector and overseas because of the poor working and
pay conditions.
"The pay that we are getting is good enough to survive but because of
the livings standards that is so high the pay is gone by the time we
get it so the next week or two we're living on borrowed money," she
She says the nurses have petitioned PNG's secretary for health about
their concerns.
"He's reassured us that he'll look into it but we need to do a proper
paper for him to present to the O'Neill government," she says.
Last Thursday, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, also
raised concerns about PNG's healthcare system, saying it needed
"urgent attention".

NSW politician calls for Kokoda Trail battle honor to be respecte

Press Release

The New South Wales Parliamentary Secretary for Veterans Affairs,
Charlie Lynn, has called for Australian government agencies and media
organisations to respect the sovereign right of Papua New Guinea to
name its own geographic features and respect the prestigious battle
honour 'Kokoda Trail' awarded to the Papuan Infantry Battalion and the
10 Australian infantry battalions who fought in the Kokoda campaign
and paid such a heavy price for it to be emblazoned on their flags and
Lynn has posted a Notice of Motion in the NSW Parliament as he
believes it should be addressed as we approach the 70th anniversary of
the raising of the Australian flag at Kokoda on November 3, 2012.
The origin of the official name, Kokoda Trail', dates back to 1947
when an Australian Battles Nomenclature Committee was established to
define the battles in the Pacific. Their final report in 1958 adopted
'Kokoda Trail' as the official Commonwealth battle honour which was
awarded to 10 infantry battalions and the Pacific Island Regiment.
During the establishment of self-government in PNG in 1972, Australian
administrators established a 'Place Names Committee' to examine the
issue and recommended the official name be proclaimed 'Kokoda Trail'.
Chief Minister Michael Somare took office on June 23, 1972 when the
nation achieved self-government as part of the process to independence
in 1975.
Somare accepted the recommendation of the Place Names Committee and
the name 'Kokoda Trail' was gazetted four months later on October 12,
The name 'Kokoda Track' evolved after former Australian Prime Minister
Paul Keating kissed the ground at Kokoda on the 5oth anniversary of
the campaign in April 1992. This was accompanied by much 'talkback'
debate about 'trail' being an American term and 'track' being the
language of the Australian bush.
This suited Keating's agenda for an Australian republic at the time.
It also suited those in the Australian commentariat who harboured a
strong anti-American bias after the invasion of Iraq.
They have now ensured that 'Kokoda Track' has emerged as the more
acceptable politically correct term in Australia.
The 70th anniversary of the raising of the Australian flag at Kokoda
is an appropriate name for PNG to reclaim the name of its most famous
wartime icon and ask that their sovereign right to name their national
geographic features be respected.

New Guinea Energy receives licence extensions for PPL 266 and PPL 267


New Guinea Energy has accepted an offer by the Minister of Petroleum
and Energy to extend the licence periods and exploration expenditure
programmes for Petroleum Prospecting Licence (PPL) 266 and PPL 267 for
a further five years.
NGE has an attractive exploration portfolio in Papua New Guinea and is
100% owner and operator of four licences and 50% equity owner and
non-operator in two licences. The tenure on two 100%-owned licences,
PPL 266 and PPL 267, expired in mid-August 2011, whilst the tenure on
another two 100%-owned licences, PPL 265 and PPL 277, is due to expire
at the end of November 2012.
Well in advance of expiration dates, applications were lodged with the
PNG Department of Petroleum and Energy to extend all four licences.
Whilst awaiting endorsement for licence extensions, NGE continued to
de-risk its operated licences and on 21 August 2012 announced the
results of seismic programmes on both PPL 265 and PPL 266 and its
objective of farming out equity to fund drilling.
"Gaining confirmation that NGE has the rights for the next five years
to continue exploration in these prospective licences is tremendously
helpful and fundamental in providing the certainty to potential
farm-in partners," said NGE chief executive officer, Grant Worner.
The company looks forward to keeping shareholders updated on the
future work programmes and progress on each of these licences.

PNG pilots earn wings

By Brad Greenshields of Coffs Coast Advocate

FOR eight Papua New Guinean airline pilot cadets earning their golden
wings at last week's graduation has been the culmination 18 months of
intense theoretical and practical training.
But the tireless days, long nights and early morning starts while at
professional pilot training were a small price to pay in comparison to
what they have achieved.
Of the thousands who applied for the cadet training course, only the
creme de la creme were chosen.
Some even had to choose between their studies in university and pilot school.
Cadet Philip Polum left his Applied Physics course in his final year
of studies to pursue this career.
"It was always my dream to be a pilot and I have always worked towards
that my whole life," Philip said.
Under the sponsorship of Papua New Guinea's airline, Air Niugini, the
cadets were able to fulfil their dream.
Upon their return to Papua New Guinea, they'll undergo further
training to become first officers on the Dash 8.
Fellow cadet Alwas Popo said the opportunity to fly over the Coffs
Coast has been a truly magnificent experience but the friendships
forged has been a greater reward.
"We haven't only enjoyed your skies and the weather here, we've made
heaps of friends and I don't think we'll ever forget the memories
we've made here" Alwas said.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Ok Tedi wants PNG government to join it in Xstata's Frieda River Project

Papua New Guinea's Ok Tedi Mining Ltd is keen to buy a stake in Xstata Copper's 5.3 billion US dollar Frieda River project. 

Ok Tedi Managing Director, Nigel Parker, says the company would like to move as soon as possible on the deal and will be talking with the PNG government in the near future.

Radio Australia's Jemima Garrett recently returned from a visit to Ok Tedi and prepared this report.

Correspondent: Jemima Garrett
Speaker: Nigel Parker, Managing Director, Ok Tedi Mining Limited

GARRETT: Ok Tedi is unique among PNG mining companies.
Since the Canadian company Inmet sold out at the beginning of last year Ok Tedi has been 100%-owned for the benefit of Papua New Guineans.
The PNG government has a 37% stake and the PNG Sustainable Development Program Limited the rest.
But Ok Tedi is an old mine - even if the mine extension plan currently under consideration goes ahead - production is set to drop.
Ok Tedi Managing Director, Nigel Parker, is looking for new opportunities for the company.
PARKER: This is an extraordinarily valuable asset. We cannot let this asset die, otherwise the Papua New Guinea nation loses out.
GARRETT: Nigel Parker has been working with Professor Ross Garnaut, Chairman of both Ok Tedi and PNG Sustainable Development Program Ltd, to chart the way foreward.
PNGSDP has taken a stake in Highlands Pacific - a move which forges links to Highlands Pacific's exploration sites just 20 kilometres from Ok Tedi - and to Xstrata Copper's Frieda River deposit through Highlands' minority shareholding in the project.
Frieda River is a big prize. It is a world class copper and gold deposit even bigger than Ok Tedi's original resource.
Xstrata has made it clear it may be willing to sell part or all of its holding.
Nigel Parker says it is an investment that makes sense for Ok Tedi.
PARKER: Frieda River is 70 kilometres north of us. It has some very good results. It is like an Ok Tedi 30 odd years ago, in a pristine environment. We are interested in it. We are looking at the developments of that with its current shareholders -Xstrata in the main - but Highlands Pacific also has an 18% interest in that area so once the government has settled in and we start talking to the government, then I am sure that will become clearer to us as management as to what the State would like us to do in regards to that.
GARRETT: What would it take for Ok Tedi to be in a position to buy into Frieda River?
PARKER: It is simply the shareholder commitment to it. Our major shareholder PNGSD are very interested in it because of the benefits it would bring Papua New Guinea, particularly if Papua New Guinea's own mining and exploration company has a very large chunk of it. The state, with the new government of course, we'll have to assess the mood of the government as to whether they are committed to that, and if they are committed to that, then there is no reason why the Ok Tedi group can't become involved in that.
GARRETT: Ok Tedi is a crucial source of revenue for the PNG government.
In 2011, it received 496 million US dollars from Ok Tedi in taxes and levies and a further 64 million dollars in dividends.
The government has a clear interest in ensuring Ok Tedi's future but it will also need to consider the environmental impact of development at Frieda River.
Xstata is due to deliver its feasibility study on the Frieda River project next month.
Ok Tedi Managing Director, Nigel Parker, is keen to get on and make a bid.
I asked him when it might be feasible to act.
PARKER: We would like to think as soon as possible! But we are coming up towards Christmas, of course. We have a new government that is starting to settle in, heading towards budget process and has some other priorities, I would suspect.
GARETT: You mentioned that Frieda river is very similar to the situation of Ok Tedi. Frieda River is in the head waters of the Sepik River. Ok Tedi has had a catstrophic effect on the Fly River. How would you do things differently at Frieda River?
PARKER: You are absolutely correct. It is a pristine environment and in this day and age mining companies have to look totally different as to how they mine or exploit mineral resources. We are of the view that, with the gas resources here in the Western Province, we would first up generate power on this side and then transmit power through the Ok Tedi System and then up over the mountains so by using gas fired power, 160 odd megawatts, as opposed to damming pristine valleys and absorbing enormous areas, a la the Three Gorges dam in China, that would be our first view, that we would not look to interfere with the environment where we could use gas fired power. Then it gets down to whether it has to be open puit or whether we can go underground. I can't answer those questions at this point.
GARRETT: What about a tailings dam. That has been the big problem here. We have seen a mud river heading down towards the ocean at the mouth of the Fly River. What would you do a Frieda River?
PARKER: My understanding is that that is not the same issue on the Frieda River side, that off the mountain escarpments there is land down there that is well aligned to tailings dams and tailings treatment solutions.
GARRETT: Would you consider putting tailings into the river if the tailings dam didn't seem possible?
PARKER: I would suggest that the Board of OTML would be very sensitive towards that and, in fact, given the fact that the Sepik River is a pristine river that certainly would not be an option for us.
GARRETT: But you are not ruling it out?
PARKER: At this point, I could say to you that we would rule that out because in this day and age you can't move into this type of situation to put tailings and, in fact, in our own operation here we have an active project in play at the moment, looking at building a tailings dam, very close to the mine operations and we anticipate that within twelve months or so we will have a fairly good fix on whether we can actually do that now. Why we can do it as opposed to the BHP era is that, 30 odd years have moved on, engineering solutions have developed, tailings treatment solutions have developed. The Chinese have built the Three Gorges dam. They're putting highways under sedimentary flood plains so it's a totally different environment now

Sir Michael Bromley appointed chairman of Waratah Resources

Waratah Resources

African focused iron ore explorer, Waratah Resources Limited  is pleased to welcome Sir Michael Bromley to the position of Chairman and advise of the upcoming relocation of Waratah's head office to Sydney, New South Wales.
Sir Michael Bromley brings with him a wealth of international business experience built over 40 years of operating companies in numerous countries, including Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, Russia, China and Papua New Guinea (PNG).
 After graduating from school, Sir Michael joined Collins and Leahy, a public company trading in the Highlands of PNG and subsequently started his own company, Bromley and Manton, in 1973.
 Sir Michael sold Bromley and Manton to Collins and Leahy in 1983 and took the position of Managing Director until 2000.
Sir Michael was knighted for his services to commerce in Papua New Guinea.
 He has extensive corporate experience derived from residing on the board of numerous companies, including Heli Niugini Limited, Air Niugini, Orogen Minerals Limited, Steamship Trading Company Limited, Sek No: 35 Limited, Maps Tuna Limited, Chemica Ltd and Hoia Investments Ltd.
The Board values Sir Michael's vast experience in dealing at the highest levels of business and government, extensive knowledge in developing international projects and his exceptional reputation for integrity as paramount to Waratah's growth and progression towards becoming a large-scale iron ore producer.
Following the Board's decision to relocate the Company's head office to Sydney, Mr Terry Streeter and Mr Rod White have resigned from their respective roles of Chairman and Non-Executive Director of Waratah.
 As a major shareholder of the Company, Mr Streeter remains committed to supporting the continued development and future success of Waratah.
The Board thanks Mr Streeter and Mr White for their contributions to the corporate development of the Company during a difficult period in the financial market.
Waratah's head office will soon be relocated to Sydney, New South Wales. New head office details will be released before the end of Q4.

Royal visit sparks excitement in PNG


The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will be met with a 21-gun salute when they arrive in Papua New Guinea and the duchess will have a flower named in her honour.
Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, will spend three days on the Pacific Island from November 3.
Events Minister Justin Tkatchenko on Thursday told journalists the royal pair would participate in an ecumenical service and cultural display at the Sir John Guise Stadium in the capital Port Moresby.
The couple will visit an orchid garden outside Port Moresby for a garden party where the Duchess of Cornwall will see a hybrid orchid named in her honour - the Dendrobium Camilla.
"I am proud to say it is in full flower and will be ready for her to have a look at and see if it looks like her at all," Mr Tkatchenko said.
"The most important thing is that this visit touches the hearts of everybody right across the board - from our politicians, to our ambassadors, to our grassroots people, to our business men and women," Mr Tkatchenko said.
"I would like to also appeal to all the public, all the citizens of Papua New Guinea, to join in this very special occasion at Sir John Guise Stadium. You are all welcome."
In other engagements, the prince will visit a youth centre and the duchess will meet mentors and women at a refuge centre in the city.
There will also be a state dinner.
It will be Prince Charles's first visit to the country in 28 years.
Upon arrival at Port Moresby's international airport, the royal pair will be greeted by 750 school children as well as a "sing sing", or traditional dancers and a 21-gun salute.
Should the royal entourage peer out of their car windows, they'll see rows of British and PNG flags lining the highway, as well as banners celebrating Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee.
At a roundabout near the airport, a huge sign declares Prime Minister Peter O'Neill welcomes them to the country.
The country's capital has been in roadworks overdrive for the past month to repair some of the city's notoriously pot-holed streets in preparation for the visit at a cost of $A4.8 million.
Mr Tkatchenko said the projects had been fast-tracked for the visit.
Prince Charles, who is also colonel-in-chief of the Royal Pacific Islands Regiment, will present the infantry unit with new colours, Colonel Michael Daniels told reporters.
Mr Tkatchenko said the visit would be an opportunity to correct misconceptions about Papua New Guinea to an international audience.
"From the reports I initially got from London was that we're still cannibals," he said, referring to an article in the UK's Daily Star tabloid alleging travellers were too scared to come to PNG for fear of getting eaten.
"This is a scenario where we don't want to hear anymore of that bulls***, as far as I'm concerned.
"We need to change the attitudes and ways and open their eyes to show how good we are."

NGE gets PNG licence extensions

Papua New Guinea: NGE has received a five year extension for two onshore licences
By JOSH LEWIS in Upstream
Australia-listed New Guinea Energy (NGE) received extensions for the exploration periods of two licences in Papua New Guinea.
The company confirmed on Thursday that Papua New Guinea’s Minister of Petroleum & Energy had granted a five year extension to the licence periods and exploration expenditure programmes for PPL 266 and 267.
“Gaining confirmation that NGE have the rights for the next five years to continue exploration in these prospective licences is tremendously helpful and fundamental in providing the certainty to potential farm-in partners,” NGE chief executive Grant Worner said.
NGE said the tenure on the licences, in which it holds a 100% interest, expired in August last year, while its other two wholly-owned PNG licences, PPL 265 and PPL  277, are due to expire at the end of November this year.
It noted that it had lodged applications with the PNG Department of Petroleum & Energy “well in advance” of the expiration date

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Newcrest defends PNG operations


AUSTRALIA'S largest gold miner Newcrest Mining has urged shareholders to keep the faith in the company's long-term picture after a series of hostile questions at its AGM in Melbourne today.
A rash of problems at its Lihir mine's processing plant in Papua New Guinea led to suspensions in operations, falls in production and sales and rises in costs in 2012, offset by a high gold price currently at about $US1,700 an ounce.
Shareholders accused the board in Melbourne of not conducting enough due diligence on plant equipment before buying the project in 2010, something chief executive Greg Robinson has conceded.
He also warned there was a reasonable chance that there would be more operational issues there this year but guaranteed output at Lihir would be higher, to between 700,000 ounces and 900,000 ounces.
"We make no apologies to anyone for having a broad range, it's just what happens when you deliver an operation reliability program and major operation all in one go,” Robinson said.
He said the value of the project - Lihir Gold was acquired for US$9.5 billion in 2010 - would shine through with annual output doubling within five years to 1.2 million ounces.
The reserve and resources at Lihir was upgraded from 48 million ounces of contained gold to more than 56 million ounces this year.
"There's a long term and short term story on this one, we have a short term fix and think the long term value of the equation is still good," Robinson said.
"At the moment 80%- plus of our effort there is going into making the plant reliable and ensuring that drumbeat of production, day in-day out for weeks and months meets our expectations."
 Robinson says that while he expected the plant would need investment, the urgency with how quickly equipment had to be repaired had surprised people.
A US$200 million a year "rectification" programme is now taking place.
Newcrest is already the nation's largest gold play but has embarked on a massive expansion including spending more than US$3 billion building the Cadia East underground mine in central western NSW - which will be Australia's largest - and developing Lihir.
It also aims to have the estimated 400,000 to 580,000 ounces of gold a year, US$4.8 billion Wafi-Golpu gold/copper project in PNG in production by the end of the decade.
 The company produced 2.3 million ounces of gold this year, is forecasting 2.3 to 2.5 million ounces in 2012-13 and for that to climb above three million within the next few years.
Gearing is low at only 12.5% with most debt due in 10, 11 and 30-year maturities.
Newcrest shares closed 48 cents lower at $26.01.

Oil Search optimistic about PNG project

By Barry Fitzgerald of The Australia

OIL Search has revealed that early studies on the expansion of the yet-to-be-completed $US15.7 billion ExxonMobil-led LNG project in Papua New Guinea have formally begun.
The company said in its September quarter report, released Tuesday, that while the two train LNG project was making good progress and remained on target for first LNG shipments in 2014, work was under way on development options for the P'nyang gas discovery to become a "foundation resource" for a third processing train.
Oil Search is a 29 per cent partner in the LNG project which has not been hit by the delays and cost overruns that have plagued gas export projects in Queensland and Western Australia.
Oil Search said P'nyang would now be moved into the front-end engineering and design phase, and that preliminary studies on potential design concepts and costs had started.
The existing two-train LNG project will be transformational for both Oil Search and PNG.
Oil Search's quarterly report showed its oil and gas production interests in PNG were affected by the shutdown of port loading facilities to determine the cause of what proved to be a "minor oil sheen" on the water surface in July.
The sheen, estimated to be four to eight litres, prompted a decision to suspend loading operations and carry out an inspection.
"The full integrity of the oil export system was confirmed, with no source of any leak found. "Loadings resumed in late August," Oil Search said. 
Both production and sales revenue were hit.
Key producing fields were shut-in for much of August. 
As a result September quarter production at 1.33 million barrels of oil equivalent was down 26 per cent on the 1.8 mmboe in the June quarter.
However, Oil Search said "production for the 2012 full year is still expected to be within the 6.2- 6.7 mmboe guidance range".
The company secured a $US500m revolving line of credit and has a cash balance of $US573.2m.
When cashflow from operations is added in, Oil Search believes it is in a strong position to fund all foreseeable expenditures ahead of production from the LNG project.

Newcrest sees room for dividend hike

Newcrest Mining Ltd today said its shareholders may be in line for greater dividends if the gold price remains strong, forecasting that its capital needs will fall as new mines edge closer to development.
Chairman Don Mercer told the company's annual shareholders’ meeting in Melbourne said it will be able fund new projects such as the Wafi-Golpu mine in Papua New Guinea with South African partner Harmony Gold Mining Co mostly from its cash flow in future.
"Sustaining this position, other things being equal, should allow for greater dividend distribution to shareholders in the future,"Mercer said.
He said Newcrest--Australia's largest gold producer by market value--felt it was prudent not to pay a special dividend for the 2012 financial year.
The ordinary dividend for the year was increased 17%.
Newcrest is targeting sustained annual production of more than 3 million troy ounces of gold within a few years.