Much like close neighbour Australia’s mining laws, Papua New Guinea’s Mining Act provides a comprehensive legal framework that falls short of model investment standards primarily as a result of the high levels of discretion held by the State and the various State authorities. This issue may well be addressed via the negotiation of a separate agreement which may set out how discretion shall be exercised, and those entering the jurisdiction would be wise to take such option, as this could alter the risk profile considerably. That being said, the Mining Act is also a relatively dated piece of legislation, and the country has been grappling with potential reform for many years. Such reform is now being driven by increasingly nationalistic policies and the Marape government is fighting hard to attempt to obtain greater benefits from the country’s natural resources. In recent times, the direction of reform has been increasingly alarming – with ideas to introduce mandatory production sharing arrangements seen as a potential death knell for the country’s industry. The recent dispute with Barrick Gold over the Porgera mine looks likely to end with an agreement granting the State a majority ownership of the project and it is hoped that this does not result in reform which is structured around such high levels of State participation. For now, the legal risk remains severe; it is hoped that in the future we see that improve, rather than witness a slide into the critical risk bracket.