By: PNG Business News August 28, 2023

PM Marape speaking at the forum

The government has set aside K700m for infrastructure development and re-settlement programs for the Progeria Mine Special Mining Lease (SML) landowners.

This money will be drawn down over a seven-year period.

Prime Minister Honourable James Marape announced this recently during the project’s Development Forum at the Enga Teachers’ College in Wabag, Enga Province.

The PM said the money would be used for projects such as schools, police stations and establish educational institutions within the SML area.

In addition, the government has given K100m to Mineral Resources Enga (MRE), which will be used to pay for the 5 percent outstanding SML 1 asset. The government has also secured a 3 percent royalty rate for the landowners without deductions for operational costs, capital works and sunk-costs amongst other deductions.

The PM told landowners that the government had negotiated a better deal for them and the country, where the project has a 51:49 shareholding arrangement for the next 10 years.

After 10 years, PNG government has an opportunity to buy out barrick’s interests and fully own the project.

The PNG shareholders have 51 percent share while Barrick and its partners have 49 percent.

PNG shareholders are the government through Kumul Mineral Holdings Limited (KMHL) (36 percent), SML landowners (10 percent) and MRE (5 percent).

Hon Marape assured landowners and impacted communities, that his government would ensure benefits negotiations and distributions are done transparently.

He said the development forum was a platform where all benefits would be negotiated transparently and openly, between the parties. He said landowners have an opportunity to decide how they would like to distribute benefits and what infrastructure development projects they want

PM Marape thanked Barrick for its sincerity in negotiating with the government and its people. He said for the first time in Barrick’s history, the company had become a minority shareholder in a project.

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