By: PNG Business News August 07, 2023

Warden’s Hearing for the Porgera Mine has been successfully concluded.

The hearing was held at Paiam Oval in Porgera on July 31, and in Tari Town Square Hela Province on Aug 1, with regards to the Special Mining Lease (SML) 13 and 15 supporting tenements.

Major stakeholders to the hearing process were the impacted landowners and the applicant New Porgera Limited (NPL). The NPL was represented by Chad Coulin, who is the Executive Manager of Barrick Niuigni Limited (BNL). BNL will be the operator of NPL.

Mr Coulin outlined the company’s proposals for reopening the mine and potential benefits that are expected.

The Chief Mining Warden of PNG Mineral Resources Authority (MRA), Mr Ovi Patrick, conducted the hearing at Paiam and Tari, following an application for an SML by NPL in June this year, to reopen and operate the Porgera mine.

Proceedings at Paiam was attended by about three thousand SML, Lease for Mining Purposes (LMP) and Mining Easements (ME) landowners. The landowners came with placards and banners carrying messages pertaining to their views on whether they wanted NPL to operate the mine or not.

Treasurer of the Porgera Land Owners Association (PLOA) Nixon Mangape, represented the PLOA amongst other leaders. Other stakeholders who were present were Enga Provincial Government, Porgera District Administration and the Local Level Government.

The hearing at Tari town square was graced by the participation of the Governor for Hela Province, Hon Philip Undialu and the Provincial Administrator Marago Dagoba. About five thousand impacted landowners gathered to witness and present their views at the event.

Mr Patrick explained to the landowners that a Warden’s Hearing is a statutory process, under section 108 in the Mining Act 1992. He said the objective of a Warden’s Hearing was to gauge the views of the impacted landowners, on whether they accept or object to applications.

In the case of Porgera, the Warden’s Hearing reports together with technical assessment report of the applications, will be submitted to the Mining Advisory Council (MAC). The MAC then makes recommendations to the Minister for Mining, who then submits the recommendations to the National Executive Council (NEC). The NEC will then advice the Head of State on whether to grant or refuse the applications for the SML and its associated tenements.

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