Prime Minister Marape Emphasises Unwavering Commitment to Gold Refinery Establishment in National Gold Corporation Bill 2024 Consultation

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape this morning spoke at the Consultation Workshop on the National Gold Corporation Bill 2024, organised by the Ministry of Mining. The Prime Minister highlighted the government’s commitment to maintaining steadfast goals for downstream processing of gold and other resources in Papua New Guinea.

“We have been exporting our natural resources overseas and then buying the finished products again, thus importing them back into our nation. We have also been unfairly benefitting from most of our resource projects before I took office in 2019. My government has been committed to change this with Porgera and few other examples already in place. We want to turn things around by establishing refineries for the benefit of Papua New Guinea. And in this case, through this Bill, we want to have a gold refinery to enable downstream processing of our gold,” Prime Minister Marape explained.

“Establishing a gold refinery locally will permit us as a nation to take stock and manage our resources better and contribute far better economically to our Gross Domestic Product, compared to what it is now, thus promote economic growth and sustainability locally like never before. We do not have to grow our economy from outside; it can be grown from within. Many developed countries present in the world today are where they are because they initiated change for economic prosperity like this which they are enjoying now. Change and reform for the better comes with challenges and opposition, and we welcome that,” he stated further.

Prime Minister Marape clarified to the consultation participants, including industry professionals, representatives from various sectors of government and the private sector, as well as ordinary citizens, that his government is committed to improving the country’s future through effective legal and policy reforms. He assured that the National Gold Corporation Bill 2024 is designed to benefit PNG without negatively impacting existing mining businesses or their contracts. “This Bill in no way intends to disarm mining businesses of their contracts, or deter investors on their return upon investment. In fact, this Government wants to add value to the mining industry of the country. We will give you an option to refine your golds locally and if you so wish sell your gold at world market price locally,” the Prime Minister clarified.

He also encouraged open dialogue and input on the bill: “We are open to views and advice from industry professionals or the general public on this Bill, and that is why we are having this consultation. We have made our stance and intention on the Bill clear for the benefit of Papua New Guinea. But if you have other views on this, you are free to tell us where we can improve things so that this Bill is properly presented in Parliament, where everyone knows what it will bring about into the future,” Prime Minister Marape concluded.