Frieda River Limited and West Sepik provincial representatives meet following COVID-19 imposed hiatus

Frieda River Limited and West Sepik provincial representatives meet following COVID-19 imposed hiatus

On Wednesday 27 October, Frieda River Limited representatives met with senior sectional directors from the West Sepik provincial administration to discuss matters of mutual interest and the Company’s commitment to developing the Project.

The meeting, the first held this year, was welcomed after an imposed hiatus due to ongoing COVID-19 pandemic travel and gathering restrictions. The five-member West Sepik delegation were transported to the Project site at Frieda River from Vanimo under strict Company COVID-19 controls including PCR testing. At site, the delegation virtually connected with the PanAust Frieda River Project team in Brisbane.

Initiated by PanAust, the meeting provided the provincial representatives with a platform to discuss their position and concerns regarding the Environment Impact Statement (EIS). The Conservation and Environment Protection Authority managed the public review process for the EIS which closed for public submissions in December 2020. The Frieda River Project footprint reaches across both East and West Sepik provinces.

The EIS recognises the importance of the Sepik River, both from an environmental perspective and the valuable contribution it makes to people’s lives and livelihoods. PanAust has an internationally recognised and proven record in managing sustainable Operations in Laos.

Frieda River Limited Director, Phil McCormack spoke of the meeting being a positive restart of strong engagement aimed at gaining a better understanding of the Province’s economic and environmental concerns.

“Frieda River Limited has been proactively engaging with all levels of Government in Papua New Guinea since 2014. We acknowledge that the engagment and ongoing dialogue with the provincial governments is critical and we remain committed to openly and transparently sharing with our partners,” Phil explained.

Acting Director Department of Agriculture and Livestock, Joel Guaf from the West Sepik provincial administration shared similar sentiments.

“West Sepik provincial administration fully supports the Project. Our position is to understand and appreciate the differences in opinions that exist at this time and we will work together to advance the Project.”

For the Company, supporting governments and communities through this process is important to ensure the realisation of our long term goal which is to make a lasting difference.

“Together we will work through the peer review findings and the economic, environmental, social and engineering considerations and their impacts on the Project,” Phil said.

Mr Lei Feng

Non Executive Director

Mr Lei Feng has over 20 years of financial management experience in various sectors including printing, packaging, shipbuilding, grain trading, mining and finance.

Mr Feng began his career in 2004 as a Financial Accountant at C & C Joint Printing Co., (Guangdong) Ltd., after completing a Masters of Business Administration degree between 2002 and 2004 at Sun Yat-Sen University.

After five years, in 2009, Mr Feng was appointed as Financial and Executive Manager at Heshan Innopak Co., Ltd. Since 2013, Mr Feng has held senior financial positions with various Guangdong state-owned companies regulated under the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission.

In 2013, Mr Feng took up a new appointment as Financial Controller, at Guangxin Shipbuilding and Heavy Industry Co., Ltd and was appointed in 2016, as the Financial Controller with Donlink Group Co., Ltd.

In 2018, Mr Feng joined Guangdong Rising Holdings Group Co. Ltd., (GRHG) as the Deputy General Manager of the Finance Department and later in 2020 he was appointed as General Manager of Finance. In early 2022, Mr Feng took on his current position of General Manager of Guangdong Rising Investment Development Co., Ltd, with GRHG.

Mr Feng became a Non-executive Director of the PanAust Limited Board of Directors on 10 May 2022.

Mr Daling Zheng

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer
MCom, MBA, PGDip

Mr Daling Zheng is PanAust Limited’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer. He has 20 years of experience in asset management and investment in China and internationally and holds a Master of Commerce (Applied Finance) from the University of Queensland, an MBA from Murdoch University, and a postgraduate diploma from the Queensland University of Technology.

Prior to joining PanAust Limited, Daling worked for Shenzhen Zhongjin Lingnan Nonferrous Metal Co. where he was involved in mergers, acquisitions, and the asset management of international mines.

Daling’s previous experience includes as an investment approval officer in the Investment Management Committee of the China Ping An Group where he was responsible for the acquisition of global-listed companies and commercial banks, underwriting, investing in corporate bonds, and participating in Moody and Standard & Poor’s credit rating on Ping An Group. He has also been responsible for corporate banking at the China Minsheng Bank, and was an analyst in the energy and nonferrous metal industry at CITIC Futures.

Daling was appointed an Executive Director of PanAust Limited on 27 August 2018, Chief Financial Officer on 15 January 2019 and Deputy Chief Executive Officer on 23 July 2020. In 2022 Daling was appointed as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of PanAust Limited.

Mr Shu Yao


Mr Shu Yao is a Mining Engineer with over 30 years’ of experience in mining operations and management.

Mr Yao joined Shenzhen Zhongjin Lingnan Nonfemet’s (Nonfemet) Fankou Mine – one of the largest lead and zinc producing mines in Asia – in 1989 as a Mining Technician. He would later serve as the Mining Manager, General Manager of the Mining Department, and Assistant General Manager during his 26 year tenure with the Mine.

In 2015, Mr Yao transitioned to work directly for Nonfemet as the Assistant President; General Manager of the Mineral Resource Department. While with the Company, Mr Yao would go on to hold the roles of Deputy President and Director, and Executive Deputy President and Director.

In 2020, Mr Yao transitioned to his current role of Chairman of Guangdong Rising Investment Development Co. Ltd; a first tier subsidiary of Guangdong Rising Holdings Group Co. Ltd.

Mr Yao became the Chairman of PanAust Limited on 11 May 2021.