Gold and copper explorer Torrens Mining Limited (ASX: TRN) has provided an update in relation to legal proceedings in Papua New Guinea concerning the prosecution of the company’s exploration licence application covering the ground which includes the high-grade copper-gold Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide (VMS) mineralisation at Laloki, located about 15km from Port Moresby.
Although Torrens was successful in compelling the Minister of Mines to make a decision on the grant of Laloki ELA2557, the Minister has refused the grant.
Torrens is considering its position and may elect to commence further proceedings to protect its rights and maintain statutory priority for ELA2557.
Torrens strongly believes in the potential of the Laloki Project and remains committed to protecting its position in PNG.
On 16 November 2017, Torrens Mining (PNG) Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Torrens, lodged an application for Exploration Licence Application 2557 (ELA2557) over the historic Laloki mineral field. The details of the application were negotiated with the PNG mineral resources regulator, the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA), and a statutory Mining Warden’s Hearing was conducted on 11 April 2018.
Upon an application being made for an exploration licence in PNG, it is the Minister of Mines who has the power to grant that application, but only after considering a recommendation of the Mining Advisory Council (MAC).
Torrens understood that it had complied with all obligations imposed on it under the PNG Mining Act for the grant of an exploration licence pursuant to ELA2557.
Torrens understands MAC made its recommendation to the Minister on a date prior to 25 February 2019.
Given the delay in the Minister determining ELA2557, on 30 September 2020 Torrens commenced proceedings OS (JR) 58 of 2020 to obtain an order in the nature of mandamus to compel the Minister to, in effect, make a decision on the grant of ELA2557.
Torrens has now been informed by MRA that the Minister has refused Torrens’ application for the EL.
Torrens is considering its position, which may include an application to the National Court of PNG for a review of the decision of the Minister to refuse the grant of the EL. Torrens remains fully committed to protecting its investments in PNG.