Working in PNG

Papua New Guinea Map

GAMA ProjEx has provided upstream exploration project management and logistics support in the most extreme and inhospitable environments Papua New Guinea has to offer.

Papua New Guinea continues to provide interesting and challenging environments to work in due to:

Formidable terrain

At 462,840 km2 (178,704 sq mi), Papua New Guinea is the world's fifty-fourth largest country. In addition, the country's geography is diverse and, in places, extremely rugged. A spine of mountains, the New Guinea Highlands, runs the length of the island of New Guinea, forming a populous highlands region mostly covered with tropical rainforest. Dense rainforests is also found in the lowland and coastal areas as well as very large wetland areas surrounding the Sepik and Fly rivers.

The country is situated on the Pacific Ring of Fire, at the point of collision of several tectonic plates. There are a number of active volcanoes, and earthquakes are relatively common.

This huge variation in working environments has meant that GAMA ProjEx has had to be adaptable to operating in all kinds of terrains, including modifying equipment to work in a range of environments where necessary. Although we mostly work in difficult environments and conditions, GAMA ProjEx places the utmost importance on the safety of personnel working on projects.

Hot climate & unpredictable weather

Papua New Guinea lies between latitudes 0° and 12°S, and longitudes 140° and 160°E. Being so near the equator, the climate is hot and humid year round and adds to the difficulty for personnel and equipment working in such an environment.

The weather in the highlands during the wet season is unpredictable and can change extremely fast, making it difficult and very dangerous to conduct helicopter operations and for field crews to work safely and efficiently during these periods.

Lack of infrastructure & development

Papua New Guinea is a developing economy with strong growth in the mining and resource sector leading to the country becoming the sixth fastest-growing economy in the world in 2011. During this development phase, access to a highly trained and skilled workforce, mature financial system and stable business environment remains variable.

This terrain has made it difficult for the country to develop transportation infrastructure. As a result, air travel is the single most important form of transport for human and high value freight. The two largest cities, Port Moresby and Lae, are only directly connected by planes. Port Moresby is not linked by road to any of the other major towns, and many remote villages can only be reached by light aircraft, boat or on foot. This and the significant distances make logistics support extremely challenging.

GAMA ProjEx has responded to these challenges by developing a tried and tested network of local service companies that are all specialists in their business and able to perform well in the Papua New Guinea environment. Detailed planning and contingency planning with appropriate lead time is also essential to the success of all our projects.

Diverse culture

Papua New Guinea is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. There are 852 known languages and cultural groups with most of the population of over 7 million people living in customary communities. It is also one of the least urbanised, with 18 percent of its people living in urban centres. The country remains one of the World's least explored, culturally and geographically. Researchers believe there are many undiscovered species of plants and animals in the interior.

Many of the people still live in strong traditional social groups that rely on subsistence farming. Their social lives combine traditional religion with modern practices. These societies and clans are explicitly acknowledged by the Papua New Guinea Constitution, which expresses the wish for "traditional villages and communities to remain as viable units of Papua New Guinean society" and protects their continuing importance to local and national community life.

English is the language of government and the education system, but it is not spoken widely. The primary lingua franca of the country is Tok Pisin (commonly known in English as New Guinean Pidgin or Melanesian Pidgin)

The GAMA ProjEx team includes experienced and skilled personnel from all around Papua New Guinea, including specialist highly experienced personnel tasked with engaging with the local communities near the operating area. We promote the use of the local workforce in order to improve local employment and benefit the local communities. Our team also includes expatriate personnel who have worked in PNG for decades and understand much of the local culture.

It is estimated that more than a thousand cultural groups exist in Papua New Guinea. Because of this diversity, many styles of cultural expression have emerged. Each group has created its own expressive forms in art, dance, weaponry, costumes, singing, music, architecture and much more.

Sport is an important part of Papua New Guinean culture and rugby league is by far the most popular sport. In a nation where communities are far apart and many people live at a minimal subsistence level, rugby league has been described as a replacement for inter-tribal rivalry as a way of explaining the local enthusiasm for the game.

Enga Sing Sing

Modern PNG Band

Bush Village

Port Moresby

Min People

Rugby League