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Barker: Porgera Mine First Before Wafi-Golpu

Although an economist has embraced the progress of the Wafi-Golpu project, Paul Barker said that they should focus more on the reopening of the Porgera mine quickly since the former takes time.

“With Wafi-Golpu, we still have much further to go,” he said. “(Reaching) an immediate and practical agreement between the Government, Barrick and partners over equity and recommencement will have a more immediate restorative effect. It will enable contractors and employees to be rehired and work, production, exports and revenue to start flowing again in the relatively short future.”

Barker said this in response to Environment, Conservation and Climate Change Minister Wera on the granting of the environmental permit for this project.

He said, “The environment plan, which clearly won’t please everyone, although the experts say that the deep-sea tailings) option would post the least impact and risks, in comparison with a tailings dam in a very technically unstable area. There is still a lot of work to be done leading to a special mining lease and subsequent requirements, apart from the financing of such a major venture in a difficult global capital market, especially for developing countries (especially those with some track record of uncertainty in the field of mining).”

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