Our Community


The Frieda River Project will help build stronger and more viable communities by establishing necessary critical public infrastructure, generating skilled employment, and creating business opportunities for local people.

We greatly value the contribution our local communities can and will make to the Frieda River Project. We believe that by working together we can deliver a project that we can all be proud of.

The Company proposes to advance the Frieda River Project to meet global demand for copper and other precious metals in a socially responsible way, ensuring respectful and ongoing dialogue with stakeholders, recognising and supporting traditional rights and values, and respecting cultural heritage.

Since 2014, Frieda River Limited has invested in community development programs aimed at improving the living standards of its neighbouring communities.

These programs enhance community capability by empowering people to determine and progress their own development priorities.

Community profile

Maintaining relationships with host communities underpins Frieda River Limited’s core value of meaningful engagement to address mutual needs and build opportunities.

Our Special Mining Lease area landowner communities comprise villages from the Miyan and Telefol language groups while a village from the Payamo language group are the landowners of the Lease for Mining Purposes for which the proposed Frieda River Hydro Electric Project will be built.

These villages are Sokamin, Amaromin, Wameimin 1, Wameimin 2 (Miyan language groups) Wabia and Ok Isai (Telefol language group) and Paupe (Payamo language group).

Other communities of equal interest are the landowners, land users and host communities further from the proposed mine and hydro dam projects.

Impacted communities:
Infrastructure corridor

Comprising communities from Hotmin to Vanimo from language groups including Fas, Kwomtari, Nai and Baibai.


Comprising communities from the Vanimo language group.

Sepik River corridor

Comprising communities from several language groups along the upper, middle and lower reaches of the Sepik River and extending from the location of the proposed Sepik River bridge to the mouth of the Sepik River.

Communities in the Sandaun and East Sepik provinces

Acknowledging that the location of the Project’s infrastructure and activities extends across two provinces (Sandaun and East Sepik) and will have an effect on each of those host provinces.

Engaging local and provincial Governments

Following PanAust’s acquisition of the Frieda River Project in 2014, stakeholder engagement with the local and provincial governments of both Sandaun and East Sepik Provinces has been a major focus.

This involves extensive interactions with both administrations using approaches designed to suit each group such as the Joint Provincial Consultative Committee (JPCC) meetings. Information about the Project has been presented to stakeholders through forums such as the JPCC and the Community Leaders Forums, where engagement consultation with government departments and provincial administrations, along with formal and informal discussions with non government organisations and industry-related groups on particular issues occur.

The Joint Provincial Consultative Committee was established in 2007 as the joint consultative body between the provincial governments and the Frieda River Project proponent at that time on matters relevant to the proposed development.

Since 2007 the JPCC has continued to convene three to four times per year. Meetings are held in alternating provincial capitals, i.e., Vanimo and Wewak. Meetings of the JPCC typically involve Frieda River Limited presenting a Project update and providing an opportunity for authorities to ask questions, offer advice and share their expectations. Meetings have focused on topics including economic contributions and local and regional development including health, education, infrastructure (power and roads), law and order, and livelihoods.

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Frieda River Limited is committed to supporting the communities we are a part of, and we recognise that our success is reliant on the support of our host communities.

Community Leaders Forum

Part of this commitment is enabling genuine and inclusive community engagement with those impacted by our operations, including listening to, and actioning the feedback and the issues raised by our communities.

The Company has hosted Community Leaders Forums (CLFs) since 2014 when it acquired its majority shareholding in the Frieda River Project. The Company recognised the importance of the CLFs and restarted these with the project area communities when it acquired its majority shareholding in the Frieda River Project.

In order to ensure diversity and full representation, the Frieda River community engagement strategy prioritises the participation of women in the CLFs.

CLF members, representing the seven villages impacted by the Frieda River Project, meet quarterly. The meetings enable the timely sharing of Project information and raising of issues of interest to the community directly with the Company.

Find out more about how Frieda River Limited continued to engage with its host communities during the COVID-19 imposed travel restrictions

Capacity building Women in Extractives

Frieda River Limited has partnered with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) since 2017 to deliver the Women in Extractives Project.

This partnership ensures the economic and social rights of women are heard and addressed throughout the lifecycle of the mining project. Women from each of the seven neighbouring communities are represented in the Community Leaders Forum (CLF). With women involved, the focus of the CLF has shifted to addressing the social issues affecting women and children in the communities.

Frieda River Limited has committed to fully fund this program in the future, building the capability of local women in the areas of literacy and numeracy.


Ongoing medical support is provided to neighbouring communities through the construction and registration of Aid Posts and medical support staff at the Frieda River Project site are ready to assist.

Frieda River Limited continues to work with the Telefomin District Health Services to provide quarterly maternal and child health checks for neighbouring communities. Health awareness programs targeting tuberculosis, sexually transmitted infections and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and other communicable diseases also feature in the health programs.


Education assistance is delivered in cooperation with Telefomin District Education and the Boards of various local schools. Activities include primary school infrastructure improvement programs, logistics support for teachers and their families, and school fees assistance for primary, secondary and tertiary students.

The Frieda River Community Affairs team, in conjunction with the Telefomin Secondary School, also implements programs to maintain attendance in primary schools, particularly for girls.

In an effort to strengthen the confidence parents have in the school system, Frieda River Limited is directly investing in improving school infrastructure throughout the District and providing increased support to teachers.

Frieda River Limited is committed to working with the Government of Papua New Guinea, to deliver the Frieda River Hydro Electric Project and the Sepik Infrastructure Project which will make a significant contribution to Papua New Guinea’s long-term growth and prosperity.


Frieda River Limited promotes direct local employment and training that reflects the human resource and skills development goals and policies of the Government of Papua New Guinea.

The Frieda River site workforce composition is a 100 percent Papua New Guinean.

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Cultural heritage

Frieda River Limited has supported the Sepik River Crocodile and Arts Festival since 2011 and is proud to see the celebration of culture growing popular and successful each year.

The festival highlights the crocodile and its cultural significance to the communities living along the Sepik River.

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Local buying

Over 90 per cent of goods and services for the Project are sourced from local suppliers.

Frieda River Limited works with our local landowners to source fresh produce for its staff mess from the Sepik region. Frieda River Limited procures all its fresh fruits and vegetables for its staff mess from village farmers in the seven landowning communities.

The Company also engages local canoe and boat operators from the upper Sepik River communities, as far as Pagwi in East Sepik province. These local operators transport fuel drums and other materials from the landing area at Pagwi to the Frieda River site camp. Frieda River Limited values and prioritises providing business opportunities to local communities in the Sepik region where possible.