Gold Pour at Porgera Mine in PNG (File Picture).

PNG CORE President Anthony Smaré said today that PNG benefits from one of the strongest gold production monitoring regimes in the world and PNG should feel proud of its current regime in place.

“PNG’s mining industry adheres to a very rigorous standard and comprehensive scrutiny by government agencies to ensure transparency and accountability in gold production and all of PNG’s operating mines have been compliant to those reporting standards and scrutiny. PNG’s regime is stronger than in Australia, Canada and the United States of America.”

All gold produced by PNG gold mines are subject to the scrutiny of government agencies including the Mineral Resources Authority, Bank of Papua New Guinea, Internal Revenue Commission, PNG Customs and PNGEITI.

Mines submit a monthly Mineral Return Form 25 stating details of minerals mined, commodity produced, clearance on each export shipment is sought from both the IRC and Central Bank and upon receipt of clearance by the Central Bank, PNG Customs then completes its customs declaration forms confirming consignment details prior to shipment for exports out of country.

As of 2020, MRA uses a live data monitoring digital platform which enables the authority and the government real-time information on mineral data and operations of all major mines in operation in the country. Australia, Canada, and the US do not have this level of supervision. The mines pay MRA over K50m in levies each year to ensure that the MRA is funded to implement its regulatory role.

In addition to the extensive government oversight, the industry also subjects itself to several independent verifications of gold quality and quantity through various third-party professional service providers such as assayers and stock exchange requirements. All gold producers are required by law to provide audited annual company production and financial reports to the stock markets on which they are listed in countries like Australia, Canada, the US, and China and to their shareholders and home regulators. Any inaccurate reporting of revenue or gold production exposes these companies and their officers to significant civil and criminal liability in those countries as well.

Considering recent unfounded comments against the mining industry on gold theft and malpractices by certain leaders, PNG CORE has formally written to Prime Minister Marape to express its disappointment over those comments and asking for evidence of any noncompliance to be presented.

“The industry is very concerned about these unfounded allegations of misreporting of gold production by PNG mines made by some individuals. If evidence of such misconduct exists, bring it forward so that those in breach are dealt with accordingly under PNG law. In the absence of such evidence, any allegation of industry malpractice regarding gold production and exports should be considered a false narrative designed to lay the ground for dangerous proposals like the flawed National Gold Corporation proposal and its foreign promoters to garner political support and be passed to the detriment of the country. The industry will look to legal action against anyone propagating this false narrative without substantiation.”

PNG CORE remain committed to working collaboratively with government agencies and relevant stakeholders to address any concerns and ensure that reporting processes continue to meet the highest standards of integrity and accuracy.

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