PNG govt rules out changes to Mining Act before 2017 polls

8:17 am on 7 December 2016

Papua New Guinea's prime minister has ruled out any changes to the Mining Act before the 2017 National Election.

Peter O'Neill gave this commitment to the mining industry at this week's PNG Mining and Petroleum Investment Conference in Sydney.

The O'Neill government had previously made sounds about amending the Mining Act to ensure a better share for landowners.

This has made foreign mining entities nervous, and their lobbying of government against making changes has recently intensified.

However PNG's government is in a tight fiscal position and anxious to provide certainty for investors, with a couple of potentially big mining projects in the pipeline.

Mr O'Neill stated categorically to industry figures in Sydney that there would be no changes to the Mining Act prior to next year's polls.

He said it was only right that the new parliament be granted a mandate to carry forward any changes to the existing legislation, and that the industry be fully consulted.

The prime minister said that if not done properly, a new Act had the potential to create uncertainty for investors, meaning that the timing of changes was important.

However, he said any change to the Act would ensure there were equal benefits for landowners and Provincial Governments.

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