Economy. Papua New Guinea press review

The Ok Tedi mine – one of the largest gold and copper mines in Papua New Guinea (PNG) – operation in Western Province has been suspended for 14 days to stop the spread of the COVID-19 in the area, says Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Musje Werror. Seven people have been put in isolation at the Tabubil Hospital (Western Province) with one showing flu-like symptoms. The other six are currently asymptomatic. It is believed a man who arrived from Port Moresby on a flight could have brought the virus. «Operations will resume when we are confident our workforce will not be infected with the virus while going about their work,» Mr Werror said. [1]

Anyway, the world gold price has reached record highs and this will increase profitability of PNG gold producers. According to K92 Mining Inc Chief Executive Officer John Lewins,gold price had increased approximately US$500 (K1,708.33)/ounces over the last 12 months and hit record highs over the last week and briefly went above US$2,000 (K6,833.31)/ounces for the first time since 2011. «PNG produces approximately 2.3 million ounces of gold, so every US$100 (K341.2)/ounces increase, means that the value of gold produced by PNG mines increases by US$230 million (K784.76mil),» – Mr Lewins said. [2]

Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea James Marape urges all governors to develop their district airports and rural airstrips while the Government leads the redevelopment and upgrading of provincial airports. «Build up your district airports, rural airstrips and work with us so that we can link PNG and to other parts of the world, as far as our economic endeavours are concerned, » – Mr Marape said. At the same event, National Planning and Monitoring Minister Sam Basil went on record to say that rural airstrips in Morobe Province would be in his next agenda as minister responsible. [3]

Earlier Hon. James Marape James Marape has officially launched the K692 million (US$197 million) Nadzab airport redevelopment project. The redevelopment of the airport will be funded through a partnership between the PNG government (K114 million, US$32 million) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (K578 million, US$164,7 million). The upgrade would enable Nadzab Airport to handle the growing demand for cargo and passenger movements in the Momase and Highlands region triggered by the increase in economic activities. [4]

PNG Prime Minister Hon. James Marape says a Pangu Pati-led Government will ensure existing and old plantations are reclaimed for the benefit of the people. Mr Marape marked it, when he launched the redevelopment of the Awar Plantation in Bogia (Madang Province). «We want the landowners and communities to go into agriculture and take ownership and manage such run-down plantations be it copra, cocoa, coffee, tea and others,» – Mr Marape told and added that the Government plans to help them upgrading and sealing the road from Madang to Bogia and further into the East Sepik Province, so you can bring your copra and cocoa to the markets. Moreover, were announced the plans in place to have electricity connected from Madang to Bogia and Awar village to support the district in its development aspirations. [5] [1]
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