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For more than 20 years Highlands Pacific Limited has been successfully operating in Papua New Guinea. It is now arguably PNG’s premier minerals explorer, developer and producer, advancing some of the country’s most important copper, gold and nickel assets. The PNG incorporated company, listed on the ASX and POMSoX Exchanges (under the code HIG) provides investors with leverage to the country’s significant mineral resource endowment. Approximately 30% of Highlands Pacific share register is held by the PNG Government and PNG based funds with the rest by international investors. Highlands Pacific is a joint venture partner in the massive Frieda River Copper-Gold project in the East Sepik Province, holds exploration ground 20kms north of the Ok Tedi mine in the Star Mountains which is prospective for copper-gold, has an investment in the producing US$2b Ramu Nickel-Cobalt Mine near Madang, and exploration ground on Normanby Island targeting nickel laterites.
The Company’s current share of the resource base reported for its projects and joint ventures is:
- 4.0 million ounces of gold
- 2.5 million tonnes of copper
- 247 million pounds of nickel; and
- 25 million pounds of cobalt
Frieda River Copper/Gold Project*
The Frieda River Copper-Gold project is located 175kms north-west of the Porgera gold mine and 75km north-east of the Ok Tedi mine. The project owners are PanAust Limited (manager) 80% and Highlands Pacific 20%. The Frieda River Copper-Gold project is PNG’s largest undeveloped copper-gold project and one of the top 10 undeveloped open pit copper mines in the world. The resource inventory of the project consists of 13Mt of copper, 20Moz of gold and 49Moz of silver.
Ramu Nickel Cobalt Mine
The Ramu Nickel-Cobalt mine is located 75km west of the provincial capital of Madang, PNG. Highlands 8.56% interest in Ramu will increase to 11.3% at no cost to Highlands after repayment of its share of the project debt. From commissioning, Highlands has access to its pro-rata 8.56% share of Ramu’s post-debt servicing, net cash flow. Highlands also has an option to acquire an additional 9.25% interest in Ramu at fair market value, which could increase the company’s interest in the mine to 20.55%, if the option is exercised.
Star Mountains Copper-Gold Project
The Star Mountains exploration tenements, which include Nong River EL1312, Mt Scorpion EL1781, Munbil EL2001 and Tifalmin EL1392, are located approximately 20km north of the Ok Tedi mine, in the West Sepik Province, PNG and 100% owned by Highlands. They lie within the highly prospective New Guinean Orogenic Belt, which hosts the Grasberg, Ok Tedi, Porgera and Hidden Valley mines, as well as the Frieda River deposit.
The Nenatec Process, co-owned with Glencore Xstrata is a patented process designed to treat concentrates produced from refractory base metal and precious metal ores. The process offers Highlands potential access to new projects and/or royalty streams.
*Subject to the right of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea to acquire up to a 30% equity interest in any mining development in the country.