14 Jul 2006

Gloomy future predicted for Papua New Guinea minerals miners

10:03 am on 14 July 2006

The Ok Tedi Copper Mine in Papua New Guinea says its new mission is to ensure the economic benefits of the mine are greater than the environmental impact it is having on the Fly River system.

Managing director Keith Faulkner told the Post Courier newspaper that a

1999 risk assessment of the mine found its closure would have significant impact on the country's economy.

He says in 2001 the supplementary agreement on the continuation of the mine acknowledged the mine's environmental impact was far greater than its economic benefits to PNG.

Meanwhile, Papua New Guinea's Minister for Mining, Sam Akoitai says the future contribution of the mining industry to the country's economy llooks gloomy.

He told the Post Courier that's because nearly all the major mining projects in the country, including Ok Tedi, Porgera, Lihir and Tolukuma, had a mine life of less than 10 years from now.

The mining industry contributes up to 52 per cent of PNG's export revenue