Our Communities

Our focus is on the development of sustainable local economies and a strategy for maximising local employment opportunities to ensure that the project benefits are shared with the local communities

Critical to the success of the project is the ongoing support and cooperation of the local community. The success of the current on-site activities demonstrates a willingness on behalf of the Woodlark communities to partner with Geopacific in working towards a successful completion of the project, which will lead to ongoing benefits and upliftment for the community. Over 100 Woodlark Islanders are either working for the company or its contractors with many more employment opportunities to be created as the project advances. Upskilling the workforce to enable the successful implementation of the project build and having an operating team ready for the commencement of mining and processing operations is an integral part of the community program.

A peer reviewed, international standard Environmental and Social Impact Assessment was completed in 2013, with project updates captured in an Environmental Impact Statement Addendum in 2018 to ensure that the project will be delivered responsibly.

The Geopacific Board has approved Environment, Community, Human Rights and Mine Closure policies.

An Environmental and Social Impact Assessments completed and Environmental and Social Management System developed in line with IFC performance standards and the Equator Principles.

Engaging with our communities

Extensive and ongoing community engagement has taken place over a number of years to ensure familiarity and understanding of potential impacts and benefits of the Woodlark Gold Project on the local community.

An extensive survey commenced in the June 2021 quarter to provide valuable information around the existing skill set and potential of the local workforce, while specialist Papua New Guinea based consultants have been engaged to assist and provide training to local landowners in relation to business establishment, management and governance.

Commitment to provide positive and lasting benefits

In October 2020, an updated MoA was initialled by the Woodlark Gold Project area landowners, the National, Provincial and Local Level Governments and Woodlark Mining Limited. The MoA is designed to define the distribution of project royalties once production commences, and outlines the commitments of all stakeholders to ensure that the economic benefits flow to the people of Woodlark Island and the broader region, including employment and business opportunities and appropriate management of environmental and social impacts.

Housing and infrastructure projects

An important aspect of the Woodlark Gold Project is the relocation of the Kulumadau community which includes the construction of the relocation houses.

We have prioritised the use of local labour to ensure that the primary stakeholders in the project receive tangible benefits and to promote “ownership” of the build process and resultant dwellings and community buildings,with upskilling of the local community developing skills locally which will allow the community to maintain and expand houses in the future.

Training and Development

Geopacific enjoys an active and strong relationship with the communities living on Woodlark Island and is committed to maximising local training and employment as well as local business development.

It is the intention of the Company to foster the development and capacity of the local people in the communities we operate in. One example of our commitment to onsite training is the Chainsaw training course provided to 14 local Woodlark community members, of which 10 were previously unemployed. The training courses ensured safe operation of the machinery and provided a skill for local community members to deploy on the island.


Geopacific provides support for the local and provincial health services with the delivery of important health initiatives on Woodlark Island, particularly recently in relation to COVID-19. The company is constructing a new aid post and a house for health workers as part of the relocation program and will continue to support the Provincial Health Authority to improve health outcomes for the people of Woodlark.