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Subject: PNG Showcasing Top Quality Mining Professionals

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Date Posted: Tue, Oct 30 2007, 12:20:52pm

Top Quality but being snatched by resource hungry Australian Mining Giants...

Excerpt from the Post Courier (Finance/Business Section)

Skills shortage in mines

Australian mining companies who are snapping up Papua New Guinea's tradespeople with attractive incentives are posing a great threat to this country's mining industry.
And this is causing a major skill shortage, but a government intervention to fasttrack work permits and visa applications for overseas professionals will address the problem.
Ok Tedi Mining Limited managing director Alan Breen said at the PNG Mining Seminar yesterday that the mining industry was facing serious manpower shortages and that problem should be addressed while commodity prices were still strong. Citing Ok Tedi as an example, Mr Breen said the Western Province-based mine is losing many local mining professionals and tradesmen to Australia and Asia.
“Many PNG national mining, metallurgical and engineering professionals have been leaving Ok Tedi for Australia and Asia for the past couple of years and we are now seeing Australian companies dangling largest incentives in front of PNG national tradespeople and even more recently, mine haul truck operators. OTML has put significant effort and resources into graduate and apprentice training over the years and has produced first class professionals, only to watch them being snapped up by resource hungry Australian companies.
Great for them but not so good for our industry here,” Mr Breen said.
Mr Breen, who will be meeting other stakeholders this week to address this problem, said the Government should also critically address fast-tracking work permits and visa approvals for overseas professionals to fill in the gap. “Delays in work permitting and visa approvals are proving frustrating and are having a detrimental impact on revenue and project execution,” he added.
“With commodities markets still strong, I believe that we need to act now to make the most of today’s opportunities and to invest in the future of our industry. For Ok Tedi in particular, any deterioration in performance because of the shortage of skilled and experienced people is likely to directly and negatively impact on government and community funding. That position is not tenable,” he said.

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[> Subject: Re: PNG Showcasing Top Quality Mining Professionals

Engan Lenge
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Date Posted: Tue, Oct 30 2007, 08:38:40pm

There is a need to recall these tradesmen back into PNG, and the way to do this is give them decent salary. These international companies are making alot of profit and it is quite easy for them to pay these tradesman enough salary to keep them. We don't need overseas professionals, we need PNGuineans to be recalled, pay them the salaries, the companies would pay the outsiders. Skilled papua new guineans are equally marketable internationally, even better and price should not be cheap.

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[> Subject: Re: PNG Showcasing Top Quality Mining Professionals

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Date Posted: Wed, Oct 31 2007, 03:37:21pm

The Mining companies in PNG where well aware of the huge shortage of professionals in Australia and that PNGean workers where leaving in droves 3/4 years ago, with lucrative salaries and further job opportunities.

The mining companies never addressed the problem then by offering higher wages or other incentives for keep the employees in PNG.

Now of course they complain, and are seeking professionals from overseas and subsequently will have to pay salaries and benefits in Australian, USA or other currency.

There will be no guarantee Australian expat. professionals will even go to PNG as I don't think that PNG mining companies will be able to match the salaries/benefits which is currently being paid by Mining in Australia.

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[> Subject: Re: PNG Showcasing Top Quality Mining Professionals

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Date Posted: Wed, Oct 31 2007, 07:05:57pm

Its not only mining professionals that are leaving the country for a greener pasture but also professionals in other fields like nurses, doctors, lecturers etc.

PNG being a developing country needs its manpower but it’s sad indeed to see this manpower being lost to a great extent by this brain drain. I feel the government must take a serious look into this matter and try and do whatever necessary to keep its manpower or PNG will be doomed!

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