By Chris Lang
On 20 June 2022, Mayur Resources, a mining and energy firm, announced an Expression of Interest with Santos Ventures, an oil and gas company, to “jointly develop a portfolio of nature-based carbon offset projects in Papua New Guinea”.
On 20 July 2022, Papua New Guinea’s Forest Authority cancelled the forest carbon concessions.
In a statement dated 21 July 2022, Mayur Resources states that the company is seeking legal advice about the notices it received from the PNG Forest Authority cancelling the carbon concessions. Mayur Resources states that, “the current intention is to vigorously challenge the notices through applicable legal processes, with a view to continuing its carbon offset projects. . . .”
Mayur Resources’ proposed project is a revival of the failed Kamula Doso REDD project that was started back in 2009, by “PNG’s kingpin carbon cowboy”, an Australian called Kirk Roberts.
Mayur Resources plans to continue developing REDD project
For the latest version of the Kamula Doso REDD project, Mayur Resources hired a PNG consulting firm called Social Environmental Research and Consultancy Services (SERACS) to carry out a process of free, prior and informed consent with the communities living in the project area.
A few days before PNG’s Forest Authority cancelled the carbon concessions, SERACS posted Facebook, explaining that SERACS “continue to provide technical support on the Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) processes to Mayur Renewables on the Kamula Doso Carbon Credit Project”.
Mayur Resources meanwhile states that,
MR has recently completed two extensive field trips to the concession areas and received very strong landowner support for its carbon offset projects and shall continue this awareness at the invitation of landowners.
The PNG Forest Authority’s Public Notice about the cancellation of the Kamula Doso carbon concessions states that, “Mayur Renewables (PNG) Limited is hereby advised to cease all activities relating to the Permits forthwith”.
Mayur Resources threatens to sue
Here is Mayur Resources statement in response to the cancellation of the Kamula Doso carbon concessions:
21 July 2022
Receipt of Notice of Cancellation of Forest Carbon Concessions and Proposed Response
Mayur Resources Limited (ASX:MRL) (Mayur or the Company), via its Papua New Guinea subsidiary Mayur Renewables PNG Limited (MR), received on 20 July 2022 notices from the Papua New Guinea Forest Authority (PNGFA) of cancellation of forest carbon concessions which had been issued in January 2022. This relates to the area of approximately 800,000 hectares referred to in Mayur’s announcement of 12 January 2022. The notices do not make reference to the contractual arrangements that MR has in place with the PNGFA, the Papua New Guinea Climate Change and Development Authority (CCDA) and the relevant landowner company.
MR has recently completed two extensive field trips to the concession areas and received very strong landowner support for its carbon offset projects and shall continue this awareness at the invitation of landowners. This process of seeking consent from the landowners is consistent with Mayur’s contractual obligations, carbon project accreditation requirements and the applicable Papua New Guinea CCDA Management Act 2015.
MR is seeking legal advice about the notices received from the PNGFA, and the current intention is to vigorously challenge the notices through applicable legal processes, with a view to continuing its carbon offset projects in all of the areas covered by its agreements.
Mayur notes that the purported change in position of the PNGFA has arisen during the final period of the current government during which a new Forests Minister and Chairperson was appointed. PNG’s general election is currently in progress and the appointment of Ministers in the new government is shortly anticipated by August 2022.
Mayur will not be making any other statements unless it becomes aware of information of a material nature and hence will inform the market on this basis.