THANKS to the efforts of Papua New Guinea’s Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) the country has the opportunity to be able to benefit from the establishment of a regional geoscience initiative which will be known as the Pacific Latin America Geoscience Research Centre.

The research centre was recently launched in China. It will be administered by China Geological Survey (CGS) and countries in the Pacific and Latin America will affiliate to. The centre will coordinate all collaborative research and training programs between countries of the Pacific and Latin America.

The MRA’s Geological Survey Division has been invited to be a beneficiary of the Research Centre. To give effect to PNG’s involvement in the initiative, the MRA’s managing director Philip Samar and two of his senior officers, Arnold Lakamanga, manager GIS information and Marking Branch, and executive manager Geological Survey Division, Nathan Mosusu, attended the Nanjing China launch, where they also had initial discussions. Mr Samar was appointed an Honorary advisor to the centre.

Mr Samar’s team also discussed ongoing collaborative initiatives between MRA and CGS, one of which is the geological and geochemical surveys between the two countries. In addition, the team attended another meeting with the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM) in Korea, to discuss similar agreements and to identify new projects.

Mr Samar said he was grateful to the two institutions for their leadership and willingness to collaborate with MRA-GSD in the area of geoscience. He added that he was particularly impressed with the results of the current geochemical mapping collaboration with China Geological Survey, and further encouraged the Geological Survey of MRA to venture into more collaborative researches with other international geo-scientific organisations.

Mr Mosusu said the MOUs were value adding in terms of cost sharing and capacity building especially in staff training. Several staff has been beneficiaries of training programs sponsored and hosted by KIGAM and CGS.

“With more of these collaborations, MRA could acquire new earth sciences data and information in the fields of geological, geochemical, geophysical, geotechnical, geo-environmental and geohazard. These are important as pointer information for mineral exploration and investment,” Mr Mosusu said.