Papua New Guinea
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Newmont cleared to acquire Newcrest interests in PNG

Independent Consumer and Competition Commission have granted clearance to Newmont Corporation to acquire all the interests of Newcrest Mining Limited in PNG.

ICCC Commissioner Paulus Ain said the ICCC has granted clearance to Newmont Corporation (“Newmont”) for its proposed acquisition of all the interests of Newcrest Mining Limited (“Newcrest”) in PNG (“the Proposed Acquisition”).

He said Newcrest has interests in PNG through its subsidiaries, Lihir Gold Mine Limited, Newcrest PNG 3 Limited and Newcrest PNG Exploration Limited.

He said the proposed acquisition is part of the wider global acquisition where Newmont and Newcrest have entered into a binding Scheme Implementation Deed (SID) under which Newmont (through its wholly owned subsidiary, Newmont Overseas Holdings Pty Ltd) will acquire 100 per cent of the issued shares in Newcrest.

“Newmont applied to the ICCC for clearance because Newcrest has operations in PNG and the law requires that any such transaction that would cross the mandatory notification thresholds, must seek prior approval from the ICCC.

The ICCC’s approval was purely based on competition grounds, which is consistent with the ICCC Act. The ICCC understands that there are areas of national interest currently under scrutiny pertaining to this proposed acquisition, however, the process under which this approval was given is on the competition effects only.

Issues on investment and capital market listings is outside of ICCC’s mandate and can be addressed by relevant authorities. Whilst the ICCC has cleared this proposed acquisition on competition grounds, it is not to be taken as the final regulatory approval for the proposed acquisition in PNG,” Mr Ain explained.

He said whilst Newmont has global operations, it does not have any interests nor does it have any operations in PNG. It does not compete with Newcrest in relation to any market for the sale of gold ore or bullion produced in PNG.

After assessing the applicant’s submissions, the available market information and taking into account views and comments from all the relevant industry stakeholders, the ICCC concluded that the proposed acquisition:
– is only a bare transfer of all Newcrest’s interests in PNG and its position within the markets associated with those assets to Newmont. Hence, the current structure of the market would remain the same; hence the level of competition post-acquisition; and
– therefore, would not enhance the market position of Newmont, in terms of control, in any relevant market(s) in PNG.

The ICCC considers that the proposed acquisition will involve direct inheritance of the interests, assets and activities that the target currently engages in PNG.

Whilst Newcrest operates mining in PNG, its target markets are all based overseas.

Mr Ain said the ICCC is satisfied that the proposed acquisition would not have, or would not be likely to have, the effect of substantially lessening competition in any market(s) in PNG.