Mining Minister Honourable Sir Ano Pala, officially opened the Porgera Mining Project Development Forum, recently at the Enga Teachers’ College in Wabag town.
He was accompanied by the Prime Minister Honourable James Marape, Enga Governor Honourable Sir Peter Ipatas, Vice Minister for Mining Honourable James Donald, Hela Governor Honourable Philip Undialu, Member for Bogia Honourable Robert Naguri, Member for Aitape/Lumi Honourable Anderson Mise, Member for Esa’ala Honourable Jimmy Maladina and Member for Chuave Honourable James Nomane.
Heads of Departments and special guests included the Mineral Resources Authority’s Acting Managing Director Jerry Garry, the Secretary for the Department of Mineral Policy & Geohazards Management (DMPGM), Harry Kore, Chairman of the State Negotiation Team (SNT), Dairi Vele and the Managing Director of Kumul Mineral Holdings Limited (KMHL), Sarimu Kanu.
Barrick PNG Limited was represented by Country Manager Karo Lelai and other executives.
About 300 landowners from the Special Mining Lease (SML), Lease for Mining Purpose (LMP), Mining Leases (ML), Mining Easements (ME) and riverine communities attended the event. The Porgera Churches, Youths and Women in Business were present under observer status.
“Indeed, today marks a proud historical moment, where Marape-Rosso Government can showcase its achievements under new Porgera mine,” said Minister Pala. He said this achievements include greater, fairer and more equitable benefits sharing arrangements, for landowners and the country, without upsetting the delicate balance of profitability for the mining companies.
“I am very proud to open the Consultation process of the Development Forum today and formally invite the Stakeholders to the Forum,” said Hon Pala.
The Minister appealed to all stakeholders to embrace mutual respect, empathy, transparency, clarity, honesty and wisdom in collaborative discussions.
He said the Marape-Rosso Government’s objective was to secure greater benefits for PNG stakeholders which had been achieved. He said the government had achieved these objectives through the negotiations.
The Minister said it was the government’s desire to see tangible transformation in the livelihood of landowners, in areas such as relocation and resettlement exercise under the New Porgera Agreement.
The Minister urged all stakeholders to cooperate and work within the true spirit of respect, honesty and fairness in negotiating Memorandum of Agreements (MoA).
Yesterday’s forum will be followed by a series of MoA benefits negotiations between the parties and stakeholders. The parties are New Porgera Limited (NPL), the Porgera Landowners Association (PLOA), the Enga Provincial Government, and the riverine/impacted communities, who live along the Strickland and Fly Rivers, and Telefomin District.