'Good shape' PanAust report released

FRIEDA River copper-gold project developer PanAust this week released its 2017 Business Review and Sustainability Report for 2017.

  • Staff Reporter
  • 09 March 2018
  • 05:03
  • News
'Good shape' PanAust report released Fred Hess

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The 112-page report is crammed with facts and figures about the company's performance across all levels last year - and PanAust says the report was prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, including the Mining and Metals Supplement. 
PanAust managing director Fred Hess said the company performed strongly across the business in 2017. 
"PanAust ended 2017 in good shape. Copper and gold production from our operations in Laos was strong. In Papua New Guinea we took substantial strides toward making Frieda River a reality. And we continued to work towards growing our business through identifying and evaluating discovery, acquisition and development opportunities," Hess said.
The report notes that expenditure during the year on Frieda River in Sandaun Province totalled about $22.8 million (2016: $34.3 million) and included permitting costs, drilling programs, exploration access track construction, corporate support and site-based activities.
In 2017, PanAust contributed $249,134 to community development programs in PNG, with a further $45,070 associated with the use of helicopters to deliver these programs to Frieda River communities which are inaccessible by road.
In another initiative landowner representatives from Frieda River visit Hidden Valley gold mine to see the benefits of a mining operation.
The visit took place in October, with representatives from the seven landowning communities close to Frieda River the Harmony Gold-operated gold-silver mine in Morobe Province.
The visit, coordinated by PanAust in conjunction with the PNG Mineral Resources Authority, gave landowners a greater understanding of the social and environmental impacts of a mine, and highlighted the potential opportunities for communities that the development of a mine can bring. 
The landowners toured the open-pit mine, associated processing infrastructure and the tailings storage facility. The group also visited Hidden Valley's small-scale mining training centre in Wau to learn about the safe alluvial mining training offered to local alluvial miners from the Morobe Province and other parts of PNG.
Landowners also gained insights into the management of landowner associations, and participation in permitting processes including the Development Forum and the negotiation of a memorandum of agreement.
The Frieda River community affairs team, in conjunction with the Telefomin Secondary School, began a project to investigate and understand the drivers contributing to the high rate of children dropping out of school. Opportunities to keep children in primary school were also investigated.
In September, Interplast Australia and New Zealand delivered a PanAust-sponsored surgical program at the Vanimo General Hospital in PNG. A team of five Interplast volunteers, led by current president of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons, Professor Mark Ashton, travelled to the hospital in PNG's north.
Over five days, the volunteer team treated 15 patients who received transformative surgery to treat conditions including cleft lips and palates, and burns/scar contracture releases.
PanAust transported five villagers from communities close to the Frieda River project site to the hospital for treatment. During the program, local medical staff received training from the visiting Interplast team.
The 2017 Business Review and Sustainability Report is PanAust's 12th instalment of its annual consolidated reporting on the company's sustainability performance. It provides a comprehensive and balanced overview of PanAust's performance during the calendar year.
The report is structured around six core business elements: governance, economic performance, social performance, environmental performance, health and safety performance, and employees. 

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