Sir Julias proposes amended Mining Act


Source: PNG Loop

Chan seems to have had a change of heart since he was Prime Minister

Customary landowners will be in control of minerals found on their land under law changes proposed by Governor of New Ireland and former Prime Minister Sir Julius Chan.

They will also be able to have much more direct interest in development of natural resources under the plan presented to the government today.

Sir Julius was presenting the Mining (Amendment) Bill 2014.

The bill contains all the documents and discussions Sir Julius has delivered to various forums, advocating for a legal regime on the resource ownership and benefits sharing arrangements in PNG to be reviewed and possibly changed to benefit the people of this country.

In a media conference, Sir Julius emphasized on the proposed amendment.

“The various presentations and documents call for the recognition and protection of the property rights of the customary land owners in minerals found within customary land, the property rights of the State found within State land and the property rights of the provincial government in minerals found on the land under the provincial government jurisdiction,” Sir Julius says.

The documents and the various presentations in the proposed bill emphasized the following:

  • Change the ownership of mineral resources found within customary land from the State to the customary landowners
  • Enable customary landowners to actively participate in the mining industry through the exploration and extraction of their mineral resources
  • Equally distribute the wealth from mineral resources with the other non-mining provinces

“If the proposed Mining Bill 2014 becomes an act, the property rights in minerals within a customary land and under a provincial government jurisdiction will be transferred and vested in the customary land owners and the provincial government respectively while minerals found in state land will be vested in the State,” Sir Julius says.

He said that under the proposed bill, customary landowners will effectively exercise the powers and functions in relation to minerals within customary land, with the State, a provincial government, and a local level government.

“Under the proposed bill, an owner will be given the right to sell or dispose of the mineral extracted from his land.

“The State will continue to be the regulator on customary land, land under provincial government jurisdiction and state land despite the ownership on minerals in customary land and under a provincial government jurisdiction being vested in the customary and a provincial government respectively.

“The State will be required to grant a Licence for the purpose of exploration, mining or the grant of a tenement in relation to minerals to owners of the minerals,” Sir Julius says

Under the proposed bill, customary landowners will be reserved not less than 51 per cent percent of production sharing interest in any minerals extracted from under their customary land, which he believes was not the case since the establishment of mining act 1992.