Head of the Papua New Guinea Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (PNGEITI) National Secretariat Mr Lucas Alkan has commended instrumentalities involved to amend the Mineral Resources Authority Act.
Parliament last week passed the MRA Act 2017 (amended) with mining minister Johnson Tuke saying the amended legislation would enable enhanced government regulation of the mining industry.
The changes relate to functions of the Mineral Resource Authority (MRA), membership of the MRA board, reporting requirements, expenditure under the Public Finance Management Act, and financing and increased production levy amongst others.
Mr Alkan said timing was now ripe for changes in rules governing the mining and petroleum sectors of the economy.
“Changes in technology and the way people do business are so swift today and the petroleum and mining industry have their own challenges and opportunities.
“Papua New Guinea now is on a very unique position to be a model country to set standards that other miners and explorers around the world can learn from. The Solwara 1 Project in New Ireland and the Pasca projects are case in point.
“We are of the view that the industry and the government are living up to meeting immediate obligations and this must be further strengthened to see better outcomes,” Mr Alkan said.
“If there needs to fine tune certain legislation (s) and policy (cies), timing is now right to make things happen.
“We cannot afford to be able to brining it until the last minute” Mr Alkan said.
“We have world class technical expertise to make Papua New Guinea a model mining and petroleum country that strictly upholds global best practices whether it be in transparency or the overall approach taken in administering and regulating business in the mining and petroleum space.
“There is a whole scheme of things we need to harmonize before the economy and the investors’ alike can enjoy the full benefits of PNG’s resource.
He said work needed to move the sectors required greater cooperation between all stakeholders- to (particularly) put in place better fiscal and regulatory mechanism for the good of the industry and the economy at large.