7 Nov 2003

Chinese delegation visits PNG

4:49 pm on 7 November 2003

A delegation of Chinese mining experts has arrived in Papua New Guinea to consider investing in resource projects.

PNG's petroleum minister, Sir Moi Avei, says the delegation will visit the Ramu nickel laterite project in Madang province on the northern coast.

According to the AAP news agency, the developers of the project say the deposit could support a 40-year operation producing 33,000 tonnes of nickel and 3,200 tonnes of cobalt a year.

Sir Moi says the delegation will also visit the Frieda River copper-gold project in the West Sepik, near the border with Indonesia.

The visit has raised hopes that Chinese state-owned businesses may help develop PNG's vast untapped gas reserves following lengthy delays in plans to pipe gas to Australia.

It also follows a visit by Sir Moi to China two weeks ago to promote investment in PNG.