Upthrust by the relatively recent collision between the Australian and Pacific plates, Papua Guinea’s mountains contain mineral-rich volcanic rocks, intrusive rocks and ultramafic rocks. Most of the igneous systems are now largely fossilised, but several systems, particularly on the north of mainland PNG and the islands, are still currently active.
The mineralised regions are dominated by copper and gold, but they also have other commodities of significance to the global economy, such as nickel, cobalt, chromium, molybdenum, iron and platinum. Within the intrusive centres and volcanic edifices are porphyry copper-gold ores and epithermal deposits of gold and silver, on which are based several globally important mines.
Current mines in Papua New Guinea are not isolated to specific geological terranes or elements.
The mines are spread over different element, further indicating the prospectivity of the terranes and elements. Of the eight operating mines, one in Ramu on the New Guinea thrust belt produce nickel, cobolt and chromium. Read more