MRA Meets Chinese Investors on Frieda River Project Amid Environmental Concerns

The Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) and Chinese investors have reaffirmed their commitment to the Frieda River Project, a copper-gold mining project located in the Sepik River region. The project is currently in a pre-development phase, awaiting evaluations for an environmental permit (EP) and a special mining lease (SML).

MRA has pledged to support the project’s progression. MRA Acting Managing Director, Jerry Garry, conveyed the government’s enthusiasm for the project during a recent meeting with representatives from Guangdong Rising Holding Group, the Chinese infrastructure investment company that owns Pan Aust Limited, the project’s operator.

A delegation from the Chinese government’s State-Owned Asset Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) also participated in the meeting, underscoring their support and confidence in the project. SASAC’s Deputy Director, Zawin Wang, highlighted that their visit followed PNG Prime Minister James Marape’s meeting with the Governor of Guangdong, which served as an extension of Prime Minister Marape’s participation in the Belt and Road Initiative.

While the MRA and Chinese investors are eager to advance the Frieda River Project, there are concerns about its potential environmental impact. The Sepik River is a vital ecosystem that supports over 200,000 people. Environmental groups have warned that the project could cause irreparable damage to the river and its surrounding ecosystem.

The PNG Government has assured that the project will be subject to rigorous environmental assessments before it is allowed to proceed. However, some environmentalists remain skeptical, arguing that the government’s track record on environmental protection is poor.

The collaboration between MRA and Chinese investors on the Frieda River Project is a significant development. The project has the potential to boost the PNG economy and create jobs. However, it is important to ensure that the project is developed in a responsible and sustainable manner, with due consideration given to its potential environmental impact.

Frieda River Project: Frieda River Project Sepik River PNG mining environmental impact sustainable development

Highlights:

  • MRA and Chinese investors are collaborating on the Frieda River Project, a copper-gold mining project located in the Sepik River region.
  • The project is currently in a pre-development phase, awaiting evaluations for an environmental permit and a special mining lease.
  • The PNG Government has pledged to support the project’s progression, while Chinese investors have expressed their confidence in the project.
  • There are concerns about the project’s potential environmental impact, with environmental groups warning that it could cause irreparable damage to the Sepik River and its surrounding ecosystem.
  • The PNG Government has assured that the project will be subject to rigorous environmental assessments before it is allowed to proceed.



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