By Eric Tapakau (Post-Courier newspaper)

Many landowners continue to spend a majority of their benefits from the extraction of their minerals on immediate consumption rather than investment.

Mineral Resource Authority Managing Director Kepas Wali said this when speaking at the 2009 mining Seminar yesterday. His paper was titled "Mining Benefits and Responsible Equitable Distribution."

He said the distribution of benefits was far from equitable geographically or socially and lacked transparency.

Mr Wali  said the provincial governments in the mining project affected areas also used a high proportion of mine related benefits for recurrent expenditure.

"Of the funds utilised for development purposes, the majority is allocated to public infrastructure rather than economic activities," Mr Wali said.

"The level of planning and transparency in the use of mine related benefits has been poor and the National Government has not provided planning or management support to the provinces."

He said as the mine closure approaches, provinces face the challenge of meeting higher recurrent budget commitments with less revenue.
"None of the mining provinces of LLGs (Local Level Governments) have established trust funds to meet future maintenance requirements," he said.

He said Papua New Guinea produced 63 tonnes of gold, 186 tonnes of copper and 50 tonnes of silver last year.

The revenue from that was K8.3 billion, representing 54 per cent of the country's total export merchandise in that year.

Operating mines to last year include Porgera (Enga Province), Ok Tedi (Western Province), Tolukuma (Central), Lihir (new Ireland), Sinivit (East New Britain), Simberi (New Ireland) and Hidden Valley in Morobe province.

Mining provinces of Western, New Ireland and Enga that hosted some of the biggest mines received up to K300 million in royalties from their mines in the last five years.



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