Indochine Mining is close to completing the key Landowner Investigation Study (LIS) at its Mt Kare Gold Project. This requires a ground survey of the location of the land boundaries amongst the clans identified in the LIS and will be included in the final submission of the Landowner Investigation Report.
Indochine is very encouraged by the support from landowner clan groups in both the Paiela (Enga province) and Tagali (Hela province) areas using the ‘Melanesian Approach’ in the ground survey of customary clan land boundaries at Mt Kare. This corroborates the strong local support which is instrumental for long-term development and security of the project.
Representatives of the government, district administrators, registered surveyors, the community affairs team and a well-respected sociologist have been on-site with the ‘malu’ walkers, who are the clan representatives, as defined by the local clans identified in the LIS. The ‘malu’, the clan’s oral history, is used together with an assessment of genealogy, kinship, bloodlines, land use and customary criteria. The claim boundaries are walked together with government officials, the ‘malu’ walkers and other witnessing clans.
Indochine’s PNG country manager and project director George Niumataiwalu says, “Mt Kare has been considered a challenging project for PNG but we have successfully applied a Melanesian Approach to identifying customary landowners and how they should share equitably in Mt Kare. This approach may be a model for future resource development in PNG that recognizes that the participation of both the government and community as partners is crucial in the development and sustainability of important projects.”
Indochine’s chief executive Stephen Promnitz says, “The LIR is being completed to allow for the application for a mining lease by August, and for a framework to be developed that sets out the financial benefits for all parties once production commences at our targeted start-up of mid-to-late late 2015.”
Mt Kare is 15km from Barrick Gold’s 28 million ounce Porgera gold mine, one of the world’s top 10 gold mines with annual production of more than 500,000 ounces for over two decades. Significant infrastructure including roads and power lines are proximal to Mt Kare.
Mt Kare’s total mineral resource is currently 43 million tonnes @ 1.5 grams/tonne for 2.1 million ounces of gold and 18 million ounces of silver, with nearly 75% in the higher confidence measured and indicated category.
Annual production is targeted at about 200,000 ounces gold at 10 grams/tonne along with silver production of about 820,000 ounces.