By PATRICK TALU
FOR the first time in the history of Papua New Guinea’s mining industry, 100 per cent nationally owned Tolukuma Gold Mine (TGM) has 100 per cent nationalised its workforce of over 600 employees.
From the top of General Manager’s position headed by David Laulau as the Acting General Manager down to heads of departments and the general workforce is all Papua New Guineans. And Joshua Kalinoe, Managing Director for Petromin PNG Holdings Ltd, the owner of TGM has no doubt about the whole Papua New Guinean workforce, especially the management team headed by Mr Laulau.
“I have huge confidence in Mr Laulau and his team of dedicated HODs and the general Papua New Guinean workforce as a whole,’’
Mr Kalinoe said this when commending the workforce at the TGM site at the weekend.
“This is a record and for the first time a mining company has 100 per cent all Papua New Guinean workforce. This demonstrates the level of confidence in Papua New Guineans who are capable of managing and running their own mine.’’
Mr Laulau, a mining engineer by profession with wealth of industry experience both locally and abroad at management level expressed gratitude to Petromin for the confidence in his management team and the general Papua New Guinean workforce.
He said the current team of HODs and general workforce would do their best to produce the results expected of them.
The acting general manager appealed to his workforce to get behind him and give their utmost support to bring the level of production to the next height so as also to prove that they were capable of running a mine.
Meanwhile, Mr Kalinoe as the Chairman of the Board of TGM, assured the workforce to have their remuneration increase to 10 per cent starting with 5 per cent increment this year while another 5 per cent is expected next year, depending on the mine level production.
“If you can produce more, then you get increment as you have agreed.” the chairman also reminded the workforce that any other increment will be subject to increased in production.
Spokesperson for workforce Esau Kairi welcomed the good news on behalf of the workers and assured Mr Kalinoe and Mr Laulau to get behind their management team to lift the mine to a next level.
“We have gold here; we can produce even more than 2000 to 3000 ounces per day. We can also produce ourselves. We are capable of lifting Tolukuma to the next level,” Mr Kairi said.
Mr Kari later told the Post-Courier, “all we lacked was a good management team that will truly look into the real issues by coming down and checking for him or herself what needs to be done. Check the conditions of the equipment and machineries, the working conditions and the level of production’’.
“We had lack of management and now that we have Mr Laulau, we have more than confidence in him to run this mine not only successfully but take ownership of the mine,’’
Mr Kairi said.
“Mr Laualua has proven to us in the last few days that he is the man that can put Tolukuma with par with rest of the mines.”