THE mining and petroleum industry has since last year seen 30,000 people employed directly, as well as project employees, contractors and exploration team members, The National reports.
Speaking at the National Development Forum on employment creation in Port Moresby last Thursday, Papua New Guinea Chamber of Mines and Petroleum executive director Greg Anderson said it increased to 18,000 in 2006 from 12,000 in 2004.
He said for exploration purposes, a "large numbers of village people are employed across much of the country".
"Small scale mining employs between 60 and 80,000 artisanal and grassroots alluvial miners."
Anderson said the contribution of mining and petroleum to downstream business and employment opportunities in associated industries, contractors, suppliers and retailers had not been quantified but was estimated to have a multiplier of the order of four to five times.
He said the large number of technical manpower being trained in PNG was generated from the industry, especially in apprentices, trade and graduate trainees, overseas courses, university sponsorship and school scholarships.
Anderson said through royalty payments and other benefits derived from resource developments in the mining and petroleum sector, "most of these monies are then spent on education and training for the skilled manpower they needed".
He said the benefits provided by the resource projects were diverse and substantial and included taxes as in company tax, royalty, tax credit scheme, DWT, salary and wages tax, duties.
"The benefit distribution then goes to host communities and provinces as equity and royalty payments, compensation, employment, business and agriculture development, health, community facilities and other infrastructure.
"In Western, the tax credit scheme has led to the development of a new provincial government building, which is a success in itself.
"It has begun to construct jetties in Lower and Middle Fly River, as well as the Porgera Joint Venture (PJV) Law and Justice Initiative in the Porgera-Lagaip district and the Oil Search health and education programme," he said.
Ok Tedi Mining Ltd has spent K213 million since 1997 and in 2010 spent K46.8 million, while PJV has spent K130 million on TCS projects.
He said with the good environment for investment in the industry, "close to five new opportunities have arisen in the mining sector with the Solwara 1, Frieda River, Wafi-Golpu, Yandera and Woodlark projects under way and they will be needing more manpower".
This includes the three opportunities in the InterOil condensate liquid stripping and LNG project, Horizon Stanley Liquid Stripping/Gas project and the Western gas aggregation and offshore Pandora projects.