Papua New Guinea (PNG) is rich in natural resources, with a strong mining and oil & gas industry that plays a significant role in the country's economy. However, in order for these projects to be successful and sustainable in the long term, it is crucial for them to include local content.
What is local content?
Local content refers to the involvement of the local community and businesses in the mining and oil & gas projects. This can include using local labour, suppliers, and services, as well as providing training and education opportunities for locals. By incorporating local content, mining and oil & gas companies can create positive relationships with the communities in which they operate, and also contribute to the long-term economic development of the country.
The 16th PNG Mining and Petroleum Investment Conference, which was held in Sydney, was an important platform for discussing the criticality of local content in one of the nation’s largest industries. The conference provided a valuable opportunity for industry leaders, government officials, and other stakeholders to share their experiences and insights on how to effectively implement local content policies in the country.
How to include local content?
The various initiatives showcased demonstrate how embedded it is for the major operators to include local content in many different ways aiming to impact a wide variety of lives surrounding the projects.
Many mining and oil & gas companies in PNG have invested in training and education programs to build the skills of local workers. For example, Newcrest Mining has established a training and development centre in Lihir, PNG, to train local workers in a range of skills needed for mining operations but also has established a microfinance program for women in the communities surrounding its Lihir mine.
- Local Supplier Development
Several companies have established programs to promote the use of local suppliers and service providers. ExxonMobil has a Local Supplier Development Program that aims to identify and develop local suppliers to provide goods and services for the company's operations.
Many major actors have programs in place to support community development projects. For example, Santos or K92 Mining has several community development programs focused on areas such as health, education, and economic development.
Projects have been implemented to protect the environment and promote sustainable development in the communities surrounding operations. For example, TOTAL Energies has implemented various environmental protection measures, such as reforestation, river rehabilitation and wildlife protection programs.
In order to comply with local laws, companies have established partnerships with local landowner groups and businesses, giving them a stake in the project and a share of the revenue.
Many companies increase access to and development of new staff resources. For example, Easy Skill employs more than 75 local consultants for oil and gas projects and continues to develop a database of more that 10 000 talents in Papua New Guinea.
In conclusion, the mining and oil & gas industry in PNG plays a significant role in the country's economy, and it's important for these projects to include local content in order to be successful and sustainable in the long term. By including local communities and businesses in the process, companies can improve their reputation, create positive relationships with local communities, and contribute to the long-term economic development of the country.
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