In line with the downward cyclical trend still buffeting the industry globally, the mining sector in Papua New Guinea remains in a cooling period in terms of exploration and production activity. To counter act tighter profit margins brought on by sluggish global demand for minerals and the corresponding drop in commodity prices, mining companies across PNG have responded by increasing efficiency and taking cost-cutting measures. Adding to the challenge of these market realities were other factors beyond the control of mining operators in 2015, such as a drought that lowered river levels enough to limit access to some mines and cut shipments, as well as temporary shutdowns due to health and safety concerns. These factors aside, the country’s historically strong copper and gold mines remain a crucial component of the economy.
This chapter contains an interview with Michael Johnston, President and CEO, Nautilus Minerals.