MK & JK Artwork (1a)

While we dream of owning our home outright, it’s the mortgage that’s become the biggest burden.

For most low to middle class Papua New Guineans like myself; the huge cost of living, low wages, difficulties of accessibility to goods and services and struggling to make ends meet day in and day out with little room for leisure, is the biggest burden and home ownership through legitimate processes, is of little value compared to food and security that would be more of a priority then home ownership.

In Australia, according to a research by Australian Superannuation MLC, the perception of a comfortable lifestyle had shifted significantly upwards in recent decades, the Australia today reported. MLC’s research shows that the new Australian dream is paying off the mortgage with almost 80% of Australians placing outright home ownership as their most important priority.

The perception that urbanized Papua New Guineans have is that if you live in the city/town your social grade is higher than one coming from a village in the rural area. In fact this is totally bogus and untrue considering the regular cost of electricity, water, rent and communication put up with in the city/town. Most urban dwellers live on the outskirts in cramped housing, illegal settlements and compounds usually infested with criminal elements is in my opinion a social downgrade.

Someone living in a permanent building as opposed to someone living in a “bush material” house or house made from bio-degradable material would be of higher standing within the Low to middle class people of Papua New Guinea. More Papua New Guineans in the rural areas are flocking into the urban outskirts to find jobs and opportunity to improve lifestyle and living standards but end up consorting to the norm of living in settlements on the outskirts of the city/town. Some fortunate enough to have friends, relatives or tribal clansman “Wantok” living in suitable housing within the city/town over time become a liability and a burden to the home owners.

However, I hope that this article will somehow change the mind set of the dilemma that urbanized Papua New Guineans who live in the city/town mostly the percentage occupying settlements on state land have of a perceived lifestyle that is better than living in the village.

With a demonstrated change in mindset and an adjustment to the conventional low to middle class standards of housing and lifestyle, the average Papua New Guinean in the village whether employed or unemployed can live their dream. One of the most positive methods I have witnessed is getting involved in Groups, Associations, Cooperate Societies and do business in Agriculture & Livestock. Now we have Micro-banks like Mibank and National Development Bank that have credit schemes designed to address the lack of access to credit by small enterprises in Papua New Guinea to start up and develop business and money making. It just takes hard work and commitment and this would be the stepping stone. Having and demonstrating a mindset of an island resort home or home in a eco-tourism environment, an ecofriendly lifestyle and off grid living with all the modern conveniences of solar electricity and water purification methods in place, you’re on your way to a healthy lifestyle and this in my opinion is home ownership without mortgage.

MK Create a life

*Wantok Literally translated from Pidgin wantok means “one talk”, but in reality like most pidgin words it’s definition encompasses a wide scope. Wantok is a term used to denote anyone who is from your family or anyone who is a close, or sometimes not so close, friend.

Brian Kramer gives a comparison of the IPIC Loan VS UBS Loan

IPIC Loan vs UBS Loan.png

As an employee of a Mining Company in PNG I too am feeling the ripple effect of this UBS loan.

Masalai blog

By Brian Kramer

IPIC Chairman, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan IPIC Chairman, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan

There has been many misreporting and misconception on the IPIC deal and recent UBS Loan so for the benefit of the readers I have provided a simple explanation to hopefully better help people understand the issues

International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) deal was not a loan. In March 2009 we sold our 17.6.% equity (shares) in Oil Search to IPIC to raise $1.7b to fund our equity (19.6%) in the PNG LNG Project.

At the time Oil Search shares were only worth just short of $5 per share and the total shares were not worth anywhere near the $1.7b we needed. So we sold them under a special share sale agreement on its projected future value in 5 years time (2014) once the construction on LNG Project was complete which was projected to be $8.55 per share.

To get…

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Lukulama Landslip

Part of the Landslip at Lukulama

It has been three weeks since the landslip at Lukulama on the 18/03/16 had destroyed the road to the mine site.  Repairs to the road had been slow. Light vehicles had been allowed to pass through. However, not so fortunate for heavier vehicles including our bus transport which were parked at either sides of the slip.  There had been reports of unsteady ground conditions recently and equipment and personnel working on the road were pulled out to a safe area. Only during dry conditions would the heavier vehicles be allowed through. These were primarily container trucks or tankers taking logistics to the mine site.

Day 20 – 6am on the 07/04/16. Descending down the mountain towards the land slip at Lukulama
LO, GR & JK returning from the night shift and heading back to camp for rest. Here we are standing in the middle of the newly constructed section of the road at Lukulama.
RA on the left and JK himself.

Day 20

The light drizzle and the thought of the muddy condition the track would be in was an energy drainer in the making.

Day 20 07/04/16 – 5pm GR, JK & LO at Suyan Camp waiting for the bus pick up to the landslip.  The light drizzle was an energy drainer thinking about the muddy condition the track would be in.
GR, RA & LO all fresh for the night shift. Nothing was going to stop that. Not even the track.

Day 21 – 08/14/16

The bush track that bypassed the road works had been upgraded. The locals at Lukulama placed sand bags on the mud to step on.  We were greeted with a cardboard box and a contingent of locals prompting for some money to support the upgrade of the muddy track. It was an ambush. We didn’t realise the box and money collection was positioned on the top of the slope. Fortunately the locals were not demanding money from us but peacefully fundraising.

RA & JK standing on the bags placed over the mud.
GR & RA taking a breather along the track.
The upgrade to the make shift track had made it easier and faster to walk.
The bags have made it easier to walk up the slopes without slipping down into the mud. That’s JK up at the top of the hill and RA halfway up the slope.
RA exhausted after reaching the top of the hill at Lukulama Landslip.
The journey was not over yet. We still had to walk another 300m up this mountain to get to the pick up point where company hired buses would take us to the mine site.
This lime stone mountain at the back of Lukulama reminds us all of the rough terrains and the eminent dangers we are faced with at Porgera Valley.

The good thing about this experience as an employee of Barrick Porgera Joint Venture is that it has allowed more interaction with other employees and contractors.  With the smiling faces and greetings along the way it was assuring, knowing that we all shared a common understanding of walking across the landslip. I was quite surprised that fellow workers from other departments recognised me in the semi darkness and called out my name while I was walking down the mountain in the dark just before dawn. There was a sense of unity for everyone sharing the common experience of being out of the comfort and safety of sitting in the company hire buses. I was bound for field break soon and I was with high hopes that the situation would return back to normal by the time I had returned back to site. That is, a bus ride all the way from Point A to Point B.


Landslip at Porgera – Lukulama

The newly constructed road to the Mine site at Lukulama

On the 18/04/16 a land slip occurred at the Porgera Valley on the road leading to the mine site . The Papua New Guinea Works Department and Barrick Porgera have been working night and day to fix the road but the rain and water log has been a challenge. Apparently the landowners at Lukulama are demanding compensation and while that’s being sorted out by the Company and Government reps, it’s a half kilometre hike on foot through thick, muddy grounds and up a mountain to the pickup point at the top of the hill. It’s actually a steep mountain but after arriving on site on the 30/04/16 which was Day 12 since the Landslip, it has been a walk in the back yard. The PNG Defence force and Company Reserve Police team worked with Company Community Affairs personnel to provide security along the landslip.

Day 17 was interesting.  Unfortunatly, one of my female colleagues was harassed during the hike back to camp after work.   We had merely began the hike along the muddy bush track that bypassed the road works.  Fortunately he felt out numbered and left her alone. After the incident was reported, the bush track was declared unsafe and the new road was open to mine workers to walk on the road. The locals took opportunity to follow company personnel on a much easier route.

DAY 1 Philip Hau and our day shift team going home after work. Philip Hau is the big guy in blue. Thanks for the photographs.

Day 17 Heading back to camp after work. Thanks to Desmond Poivi for the photographs. He’s camera shy.

Day 19 Heading to the mine site for the night shift. Thanks to Gregory Rovanama for the photographs. Greg is the guy between the land cruiser and the Komatsu.







Rains wreak havoc on new road


The newly-sealed road along the Madang-Lae Highway is already seeing several major damages.

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PMIZ Phase 1 funded under a US$95 million soft loan from the China Export Import Bank.

PMIZ ph1

I decided to publish some information about PMIZ where I previously worked from 2006 to 2011.  If you see the picture above, the existing portion of the PMIZ is on the far left hand side of picture with the square field. The rest is forecasted in Phase 1.

The Pacific Marine Industrial Zone (PMIZ) is expected to kick of its detailed engineering design phase in April of this year once the design concept is approved and endorsed by National Fisheries Authority and Department of Commerce and Industry as lead agencies of the Government of Papua New Guinea.

The Detailed Engineering Design will be undertaken by China Shenyang International Economic Cooperation who has been engaged as the General Contractor under a Project Agreement with the Independent State of Papua New Guinea. The first phase of development of the PMIZ will be funded under a US$95 million soft loan from the China Export Import Bank. Phase 2 will cost US$66 million. The total project cost is US$161 million. The Government of PNG is required to put up 20% as equity. GoPNG is required to up K11.6 million as counterpart fund before the loan for Phase 1 can be released.

Detailed Design will take up to 6 months and construction will take 3 years to complete Phase1 of PMIZ.





Tests in progress to analyse Ramu slurry

“The pipeline is not safe… I am concerned that this may be the first of more,” Rosalyn Albaniel | Post Courier | 9 March 2016 TESTS are being carried out to ascertain if indeed th…

Source: Tests in progress to analyse Ramu slurry