PAPUA New Guinea’s Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) says it is making progress on a request from the National Government to double current revenue levels from mineral receipts by 2030.

The average mineral revenue between 2013 and 2016 was approximately K8.15 billion.

The call for a doubling of minerals earnings was contained in the National Government’s Medium Development Plan of 2010, and in an effort to help achieve that, the MRA’s Geological Survey Division has initiated several geological surveys programmes across the country.

The programmes are aimed at updating existing mineral occurrence data and obtaining new data sets to boost mineral exploration. These data sets are important assets to alluring potential mineral investors into the country.

MRA’s executive manager for the Geological Survey Division, Nathan Mosusu, said that under normal circumstances, geological mapping for mineral occurrence is done by exploration companies.

He said that in this case the government has decided to do this on its own and have it ready for potential investors as an incentive.

During his presentation at the recent PNG Mining and Petroleum Investment Conference in Sydney, Mr Mosusu said the MRA had so far surveyed and mapped out areas including Wau/Biaru in Morobe Province, Yule, Wasa and Kubuna in the Central Province, and Kokoda in the Oro Province.

Mr Mosusu said the MRA carried out an airborne geophysical survey along the western part of the country which is the area between the Ok Tedi and proposed Frieda mines, and that data had been obtained.

Other areas surveyed include Kainantu and the NGI region. Complementing those two programmes is the national geochemical sampling programme aimed at defining the mineral elements distribution across the country. This will also help identify locations of new mineral resources across the country.

Mr Mosusu said that with the growing population and demand for services throughout the country, it is important that the government raises sufficient revenue to support and meet this demand.

“And with the track record of the contribution from the mining sector into the national purse, the government has realised that it had to depend on the sector to plan for the future,” he said.