By: PNG Business News June 23, 2023


Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has recently commended Barrick Niugini Limited for agreeing to pay the base tax that has been an outstanding issue for some time.

In doing so, the Prime Minister also conveyed his high commendations to Barrick for its steadfastness in reopening the mine and open-mindedness in its negotiations with the government on revenue and cost sharing.

“I want to commend Barrick and our Internal Revenue Commission for finding an amicable solution, and for Barrick to pay the principle of what is owed as I appreciate the effort to resolve the tax issue that has been outstanding for SML 1,” said PM Marape.

“I also thank Barrick for carrying the cost of care and maintenance of the mine as well as paying for costs of the mine start up with no immediate burden on State parties for its 51 percent stake in New Porgera.

“Because of Barrick’s strong partnership with Papua New Guinea, the government or our mining company Kumul Minerals Holdings Ltd have been prevented from going out to borrow money for the re-start of the mine, as Barrick has taken onboard the full costs of starting up New Porgera.

“This means our landowners, the Enga Provincial Government and the State are winners from Day 1, while KMHL and Barrick work on recovering the money that has gone into care and maintenance and the reopening of the mine.

“I commend Barrick for its strong leadership, commitment and continued faith in our country,” said PM Marape.

The Prime Minister also noted that the developer has already recruited over 1500 staff to prepare the mine for reopening, while preparations are taking place for the final lot of consultations preceding the restart to take place.

“I am pleased to note that we are coming to the final round in the opening of New Porgera.

“Barrick has recruited over 1500 staff to prepare the mine for reopening.

“Early next month in July, we will be having a security forum and a landowners consultation forum so that we are on one page. We are working to meet all statutory requirements of landowners in all impact areas as far as the Mining Act is concerned.

“For New Porgera, we will do better. We will focus on resettlement and making sure that there are minimal environmental costs. We will resettle properly; tidy Porgera Valley; rebuild the police and restore Law & Order presence on the ground; support vocational schools in Porgera Valley and Enga to prepare young people to continue working the mine and participating in the spin-offs.”

PM Marape said from information to him, first gold should be out by the third quarter of this year if all things go according to schedule.

“I want to inform everyone that I have received indication that in the 3rd Quarter of this year, if all things go as scheduled, we should expect first gold to be processed in Porgera.”

PM Marape added that New Porgera would be employing over 3000 people and will provide many spin-offs.

“This is a big benefit to the country, not just in terms of royalty and equity and tax, but also in Mr Bristow’s personal commitment and Barrick’s commitment that they will ramp up on more local content and more of the spin-offs to benefit our local economy rather than exporting spin-offs to other countries.”

The Prime Minister once more highlighted the monetary value landowners and the Enga Provincial Government would be getting out of New Porgera.

“Earlier you were only beneficiary to 2.5 percent each. Today, your combined benefit is 15 percent starting from first gold. This is only weeks away.

“I want to ask every one of us – let us focus to come to the development forum, put all our issues on the table where the State will process them according to law.

“We are looking forward to New Porgera becoming better in delivering to expectations, the protection of environment, landowners happiness, proper settlement and, in the end, becoming a blessing to the country.”

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