Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Marengo proud of active ops in PNG

Marengo Mining is proud to be an international corporation with an active presence in Papua New Guinea, its chairman John Horan said in the company’s 2010 annual report.
“We are operating in a country which has a thriving mining and exploration industry and a pro-mining environment,” he said of the Western Australian company which is developing the Yandera copper-molybdenum-gold project in the Bundi region of Madang.
Horan said the company was committed to providing a safe and healthy working environment.
“It is also committed to maintaining the excellent relationships established with the communities at and around Yandera, with other communities and with government authorities.
“At all times we aim to continue to operate in accordance with world class environmental standards, both on the broad scale and in regard to the environmental well-being of the local communities.”
In the critical area of funding, an equity raising of A$21.7 million was completed in September last year in Canada and Australia.
This saw George Soros’ Quantum Partners LDC join the share register with 19.9% holding.
Marengo’s major shareholder, Sentient Global Fund, also contributed to maintain its 26.65% holding.
Another substantial capital raising, undertaken since the end of the financial year, saw a further A$21.4 million raised.
The company has the ongoing support of Sentient Global Fund and Quantum Partners LDC who have both maintained their percentage holdings, as well as additional support from North American institutional investors.
The funds raised are being directed to the completion of the DFS, and to providing general corporate and working capital.
Since early 2005, Marengo had focused all of its efforts on the Yandera project, Horan said.

PNG seen as biggest tuna processor after ’14

By PEARSON KOLO, The National
PAPUA New Guinea is expected to emerge as the world’s largest tuna processor after 2014.
This would become possible once PNG catches, processes and sells the final product of tuna to the European Union (EU) markets and other markets in the world.
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Trade and Immigrations Sam Abal said this last week after returning from Europe where he had a follow up meeting with the European parliamentary committee (EUPC) on international trade in Brussels.
Abal who was accompanied by the Fisheries Minister Ben Semri and senior executives of the National Fisheries Authority said the meeting was in preparation for the EUPC to finalise the interim economic partnership agreement (IEPA) signed in 2007 between PNG and EU.
“Under the IEPA agreement, fish caught anywhere in the world which is processed on shore in PNG can be exported to the European Union duty-free,” Abal explained.
“Other countries supplying fish to the European markets are also pushing for similar preferential market access so it is in PNG’s interest to defend the IEPA for its own fish products.”
Abal said more than US$400 (K1 billion) million had already been committed by potential investors who want to set up fishing and processing industries in the country.

Call to work with cops

By PORENI UMAU, Post Courier
RESIDENTS in Madang have been urged to co-operate with police to combat crime and not criticise them.
This message came to the fore after two senior public servants took a swipe at police in Madang citing delay in response to an incident last weekend where 46 vehicles were stoned by drunken youths from Public Tank.
Madang Provincial Police Com-mander Superintendent Anthony Wagambie Jr hit out at the two public servants, after they fronted up at the police station last Saturday evening and complained to the duty officers for not being quick to act.
He said that most of the policemen were attending to a fight at Bogia over the weekend when the incident occurred.
Supt Wagambie said police in Madang were down with manpower and resources including vehicles and fuel. He said police were stretched to the limit where many officers did not change shift but continued when off duty.
He said the public should appreciate that they had their rests while police officers worked from Sunday to Sunday where they had to face welfare problems because their families hardly see them at home.
He said that police were also short of radios and officers on duty had to fork out K50 to K60 every day out from their pockets to buy credits for their mobile phones to do police duties.
Supt Wagambie said policemen had to fight it out in trouble areas and come up without any arrests because leaders were unwilling to give up the trouble makers.
He said that for this reason, people should think first before taking a swipe at police.
He said that his policemen were committed and put their work before family obligations and leaders such as the two senior public servants who live in trouble areas should help police by talking to the youths to leave such misbehaviour.
Supt Wagambie said that community leaders, councilors and mothers should speak out against illegal home brewing and consumption, marijuana abuse, hold ups and petty crimes but instead protect their children.

MP blames government

By RIGGO NANGAN, The National
MARKHAM MP Koni Iguan yesterday blamed the government for the death of prominent evangelist Pastor Joseph Kingal.
Iguan, who appeared upset when he went on Radio Morobe’s Kundu FM yesterday morning, said the relatives of those who have died from accidents occurring at the “death trap” Zumim Bridge in Markham Valley, should sue the government for negligence.
Iguan said he had, on numerous occasions, been calling on the government to redesign the bridge to a safer standard after an increase in accidents and deaths were attributed to its current state.
Two months ago, Iguan, accompanied by Bulolo MP Sam Basil and Tewai-Siassi MP Vincent Michaels, visited the bridge and pleaded with the government to do something.
He said he had brought the matter up in parliament where Works and Transport Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Don Polye gave an assurance that he would “look into it”.
Iguan said at the time of taking the matter up in parliament, the number of deaths stood at 56.
“As I speak now, the number has soared to almost 200,” he said.
“They were told something like this would happen and there was ample time to do something to prevent it, but they failed.”
Iguan said he would file a petition to Polye and give the government 14 days to act, in default, he would mobilise his people and they would block off the road to get attention.
“I am sad over the death of this young spiritual leader.
“Kingal has contributed meaningfully to both the spiritual and economical developments of the country,” he said.

Marengo inks financing deal with China

By PATRICK TALU, The National
MARENGO Mining (MGO), the operator of the Yandera gold, copper and molybdenum project in Madang, has signed a landmark financing and off-take deal with a Chinese construction and engineering group for its 100% owned Yandera project.
In a statement released yesterday, MGO said the memorandum of understanding (MOU) with China’s Nonferrous Metal Industry’s Foreign Engineering and Construction (NFC) was facilitated by Perth-based Arccon WA Pty Ltd (Arccon).
Under the MOU, Marengo has agreed to work exclusively with NFC and Arccon to establish the cost and programme for delivery of the Yandera project in parallel with the completion of the current definitive feasibility study (DFS).
Marengo’s managing director Les Emery said: “This potentially paves the way for formal agreements which will underpin the development of one of the world’s significant new copper projects.”
“While the foundation of the MOU is the construction and engineering contract for the Yandera project, it is important to note that the deal also contemplates NFC facilitating project finance and concentrate off-take for the project, together with potentially investing either in Marengo or the project, or both,” he said.
NFC president Wang Hongqian added: “NFC looks forward to a close and co-operative relationship with Marengo Mining as we work together to lay the foundations for one of the world’s biggest new copper mines in PNG.”
They said the discussions would be conducted to enter into a formal construction agreement (engineering, procurement and construction or EPC contract).
Here, Marengo will appoint NFC as the principal contractor, under a lump-sum turnkey contract, following a detailed evaluation of the project construction costs to be undertaken by NFC as part of the final stage of the DFS.

PNG Mourns

PAPUA NEW Guinea is in mourning over the sudden and tragic loss of evangelist Joseph Kingal.
Kingal, in his early 40s, from Western Highlands, as the head of The Word, The Spirit and The Cross evangelistic ministries based at Omili, Lae, was seen as the flag bearer of hope and redemption in a country racked with social problems.
The graduate accountant-turned preacher and wife, Susan, registered the evangelistic movement as directors in 1996 and went on nationwide crusades wooing in thousands to their nightly sessions.
Their messages, based on the Bible at the week-long crusades, hit a chord with thousands of people at all levels of society.
Many people from the streets and settlements of Lae, Port Moresby, Mt Hagen, Goroka, Madang and Rabaul were shocked upon learning of Kingal’s demise in a nasty traffic accident on a bridge in the Markham Valley, Morobe, while returning from a crusade in Madang.
The influence he wielded was so much so that his death had sparked people into taking up a national government function of building and maintaining infrastructure. People are now trying to set up a fund from donations from the public to make the Zumim bridge safe.
Many callers yesterday were told that Kingal had passed away and that his wife was at the Angau Memorial Hospital requiring life-saving surgery and one of their children was being monitored while in a critical condition.
Outside his ministry at the old Tanubada ice cream factory at Omili, hundreds of mourners and well-wishers tried to gain entry but were prevented.
Members of the ministry had barred the public, only allowing pastors to enter as Kingal’s body lay, having been transferred from Angau Memorial Hospital.
More mourners were flocking in by road from Madang and the highlands provinces of Enga, Southern, Western, Chimbu and Eastern.
Traffic officers at Air Niugini said many more would be travelling in from Port Moresby, Kimbe and Rabaul.
In Port Moresby, a prayer vigil was being held by fellow evangelist Pastor Joseph Walters where hundreds of mourners attended.
Kingal’s death had gripped a nation so much so that public office holders, including Governor-General Sir Paulias Matane and settlement dwellers, were sending in their condolences to the media.
An attempt to blanket news coverage was made by the managing director of Wantok Radiolight, Pawa Warena, who asked not to broadcast “any more stories” about the accident “until advised by the Joseph Kingal Ministry”.
But public demand for details surrounding the death, and of the state of his family members, was overwhelming.