Newcrest and Joint Venture Partners Sign Framework MOU with PNG Government

Papua New Guinea’s Wafi Golpu mine developers, Harmony Gold and Newcrest, have signed a framework memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the government. The MOU lays out the path for the mine’s development into a mine development contract and for the mine to begin operation as soon as possible.

The Prime Minister, James Marape, expressed satisfaction with the negotiation’s outcome, stating that landowners’ equity would be at 55%. The mine’s copper and gold deposits are globally recognized for their potential to deliver significant economic benefits. However, concerns have been raised about the dumping of tailings into the Huon Gulf, which could have disastrous effects on underwater marine life in the area.

The MOU signing was attended by government ministers, representatives of the state negotiating team, and Wafi Golpu mine developers, including NEC. The governor of Morobe, Luther Wenge, expressed his pleasure in signing the MOU, stating that it would benefit Papua New Guinea’s beneficiaries by an additional two billion dollars.

Johannes van Heerden, a representative of Harmony Gold, acknowledged the effort that went into the partnership and said it would change Morobe. The MOU confirms the parties’ intent to proceed with the project, subject to finalising the permitting process and approvals of both the Newcrest and Harmony Gold boards.

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