PNG’S Mineral Resources Authority reports that the country’s alluvial gold production and revenue levels between 2014 and 2016 have declined in line with the fluctuating international gold prices.

The MRA said production has continued to fall from the historic high of 120 ounces of gold in 2014 – which netted K373.3m – and the high of 133 ounces in 2015 which generated K356.3m, to a forecast low of 90 ounces this year.

However, that to a substantial gold price increase earlier this year to an average $US1340/oz, and the fact that prices have remained relatively stable for almost six months (only recently dropping below $US1200/oz), the revenue side is holding against the 2015 figures of K356.3 million. Revenue is K266.7m at the end of Q3, and the MRA projects a figure of around K355.6m for the full year.

In the past 12 months, there has been considerable interest in tenement applications within the alluvial sector, especially Alluvial Mining Leases and associated joint venture arrangements.

The MRA said that whilst some previously approved agreements have collapsed, it considers that the future of the sector, especially the ability to generate greater production and significant revenues – lies in mechanisation.

The MRA said it has also observed increasing interest in gold smelting and refining opportunities in PNG from overseas investors.