MINERAL RESOURCES AUTHORITY
OF PAPUA NEW GUINEA
After Independences on September 16 1975, the Independent State of Papua New Guinea had its own Parliament with several Ministers appointed to Ministries. One such was the Ministry of Natural Resources which had the Department of Natural Resources. The department administered the following Acts; Mining Development Act 1976, Petroleum (Prospecting & Mining) Act 1976, Continental Shelf (Living & Natural Resources) Act, and Mining (Bougainville Copper Agreement) Act, Mining (Safety) Act 1977.
In 1983, the ministry of natural resources was realigned and renamed to the Ministry of Mineral and Energy. The department under the ministry was the Department of Minerals & Energy. This department administered all the legislation administered under the former department of natural resources. The department also took up the responsibility of managing by administering the Water Resources Act and related Water Resources Regulations.
One of the tasks of this department was the review of the Mining Development Act 1976, resulting in the creation of a new legislation; the current Mining Act 1992, during the reign of Sir Rabbie Namaliu as the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea. The separation of mineral resources and petroleum & energy resources came about in 1998 when the late Bill Skate was the Prime Minister. All mineral resources sector and its relevant legislations were placed under the new Department of Mining; and all petroleum and energy legislations were under the Department of Petroleum and Energy. Office stations were also separated. The Department of Mining maintained occupancy in the old General McArthur Building at Konedobu. The Department of Petroleum and Energy took up residency with the PNG old Geological Survey in Newtown, Konedobu, where they are currently. The Energy Division is located in Gordons. The old geological survey compound is currently occupied by the Department of Mineral Policy and Geohazard Management (DMPGM).
Further changes were in the air when the PNG government requested the World Bank to assist with loans to build the capacity of the mining and related institutions i.e. IRC, to effectively manage and grow the mining industry. The World Bank finalized its appraisal of the proposed USD$10 million to the Papua New Government for the Mining Sector Institutional Strengthening Project in 2000, its primary aim was to strengthen the national capacity of national government agencies to attract new foreign investors to the mining sector. One of the recommendations was to establish an Authority, an organization free of political interference with its own funds from the production levies collected from the mines, thus the birth of the Mineral Resources Authority with its own brand new building with all necessary furniture and equipment and new contracted employees.
In 2005, the Government enacted the Minerals Resources Authority Act 2005. This legislation paved the way for the birth of the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA). It was until June 2007 that MRA became operational, from its brand new building known as the Sir Paul Lapun Haus, commonly called the Mining Haus. The building is next to the old McArthur Building which housed the previous Department of Mining. Unfortunately, this historical building burnt down in 2014, maybe due to an electrical fault.
All of the regulatory functions from the Department of Mining were carried over in MRA, plus the creation and increasing capacity in the Coordination Division. The main part of the geological survey also moved to the MRA whilst the POM Observatory and Rabaul Volcano Observatory remained in what is now called the Department of Mineral Policy & Geo-hazard Management. MRA currently administer the following legislations; Mining Act 1992, Mining (Safety) Act 1977, Mining (Ok Tedi Continuation Agreement) Act 2001,
Functions & Approach
On 19th August 1998, the National Executive Council (NEC) considered a Policy Submission requesting approval for the creation of the Mineral Resources Authority through an Act of Parliament. On 9th November 2005, the National Executive Council certified the Mineral Resources Authority Act 2005 and which came into force on 1st January, 2006.
The Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) is a government institution established to regulate, grow and sustainably manage the mining (minerals) industry to maximise mineral export revenue for Papua New Guinea. Some of its key functions & responsibilities are