MORE than 80 delegates from mining and petroleum projects around Papua New Guinea, including Government agencies, landowner companies, and community-based organisations converged in Port Moresby on August 22 for the two-day Community Affairs and Business Development Workshop organised by the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum.
The annual workshop, now in its 13th year, provides an inclusive platform for the resource industry, Government, landowner companies and associations, and community-based organisations to discuss initiatives, challenges and share ideas on community affairs best practices.
Themed ‘Creating Opportunities and Inclusive Community Growth Through the Resources Sector’, Chamber President, Mr. Gerea Aopi opened the workshop by acknowledging its significance coinciding with APEC Mining Week.
“This week I attended the APEC Private Public Dialogue as part of the Mining Week Program that is currently underway and one of the discussions was on how we can effectively communicate with our stakeholders the industry’s value,” said Mr. Aopi.
“The importance of stakeholder mapping and engagement and ensuring there is transparency and open communication between resource projects and communities was highlighted by different APEC participants, which indicates to us that we need to continue to ensure our communities are well-informed, and that they are aligned with every single progress we make as an industry.”
Mr. Aopi also spoke about the Chamber’s views on the proposed changes to the Mining Act. He highlighted why industry is concerned if the revised Mining Act is passed in its current form it will be detrimental to growth and will have an impact on future investment in PNG.
“There is huge potential for further development opportunities in the mining and petroleum sectors in the next three to five years, delivering benefits to the people of PNG, but these will not proceed unless investors are confident of the legal, fiscal and regulatory environment in PNG,” concluded Mr. Aopi.
The workshop will continue tomorrow, with presentations including, updates from the relevant government departments, policy and legislation, resettlement, gender-based initiatives, landowner companies and APEC.