MAYUR Resources’ Central Cement & Lime Project (CCL) in Papua New Guinea is a major step closer to development with the PNG Government granting the project a 20-year mining lease.

This grant is the final statutory approval required to allow construction to begin on the vertically integrated manufacturing facility which is 25km north-west of Port Moresby and has the potential to meet 100% of PNG’s cement, clinker and quicklime requirements, displacing Asian imports.

The project’s co-located quarry, plant site and deep draft wharf will enable very low operating costs while providing direct access to both seaborne domestic and export markets such as Australia and other South Pacific nations.

Mayur Chairman, Rob Neale, described the mining lease grant as one of the most important milestones achieved by the company since listing in 2017.

“Our vision to build PNG’s first integrated cement and lime project has become a lot clearer with the passing of our last legislative requirement, the project is now effectively ‘de-risked’ and ‘shovel-ready’,” Mr Neale said.

Mayur Managing Director, Paul Mulder, said the project was critical to PNG’s nation building agenda.

“With a number of multi-billion-dollar resource and infrastructure projects in the pipeline in PNG, we expect that the demand for cement, a key ingredient of concrete, will increase dramatically,” Mr Mulder said.

“Aside from construction, Mayur’s lower cost, locally produced cement could also be used to build higher quality and longer lasting concrete roads in PNG while large volumes of quicklime are currently imported for road stabilisation and by the gold mining industry for metal recovery.

Mr Mulder added seismic shifts in Australia’s lime industry meant PNG’s closest neighbour also provided a major market opportunity.

“Adbri’s announcement in June that Alcoa was not renewing its supply contract of domestic lime, after having supplied Alcoa for 50 years, in our opinion is a clear indicator that markets are hungry to source and utilise superior quality, higher performing products, even from abroad, thus diversifying and lowering their total costs and increasing effectiveness of their consumable input products” he said.

Mr Mulder said construction bids had already been received for the project while a Definitive Feasibility Study completed early last year confirmed not only strong project economics but also significant benefits to PNG according to a report by global independent economics consultants FTI Consulting.

“The project is expected to boost GDP through at least 360 new direct permanent jobs, a cumulative increase in indirect jobs of 10,100 over the life of the project and an annual project value add of K608 million (AUD 243 million) by 2050 and an increase in corporate taxes of K162 million (AUD 65 million),” the report noted.

PNG’s Mining Minister, Johnson Tuke, said the project promised considerable upside for his country.

“In these challenging times, any new project that can diversify our economy, drastically reduce costs, improve supply chain reliability for PNG as a nation, and bring in an additional source of mining/manufacturing export revenue will be most welcome by the PNG Government,” Mr Tuke said.

“Mayur has worked with the Mineral Resources Authority and my department for the last 14 months, since their Mining Lease application was submitted and a robust process has been followed to get to this milestone.

“We will now work with Mayur on the project’s Memorandum of Understanding to capture the commitments already made to ensure landholders are involved in construction and operations and project contributions go towards improving the living standards of landholders,” he said.