Barrick calls for partnership to secure Porgera's future
There is a need for partnership between the State and Barrick Niugini Limited for the extension of Porgera Gold mine.
BNL president and chief executive officer Mark Bristow stated this last Friday in Port Moresby following his meeting with the Prime Minister James Marape and the state negotiating team.
The meeting is Bristow’s second with Mr Marape and his third visit to PNG since he joined Barrick at the beginning of the year.
Mr Bristow said there is a lot of anxiety from the landowners with Porgera’s special mining lease (SML) expiring this month.
He said the government is currently considering an application for a 20 year extension by its operator, Barrick Niugini Limited, a joint venture between Barrick and Zinjin Mining Group of China.
Bristow said the Prime Minister is of the view that PNG should receive a better share of the benefits generated by the development of its mineral resources in line with Barrick’s own commitment to ensuring that the value created by its operations should reward all its stakeholders, especially its host government’s and communities.
“The people of PNG have a right to benefit from these resources and the government is their steward.
“The mining companies invest the capital and provide the expertise that makes profitable resource development possible.
“This common cause calls for a productive, mutually rewarding partnership between the miners and their hosts.
“Barrick has successfully established and maintained such relationships at its operations worldwide,” he said.
Mr Bristow said the mine being one of the largest in PNG had been a key driver in its regional, provincial, and national economy for the past 30 years.
Over that time the mine has paid more than K4.3 billion in taxes and royalties to the government and has contributed, on average, approximately 10 per cent of the country’s annual export income.
It is one of the largest employers in the country, with more than 3100 full time PNG employees, 1000 of them recruited in the Porgera area alone.
It has spent K1.2 billion with Porgera businesses, helping hundreds of them to grow one of which is the iPi Group of Companies.
The Enga provincial government and Porgera landowners have also benefited directly from their past ownership of the mine, earning more than K1 billion in equity cash payments.
As a result, he said: “The meeting with the prime minister is not only critical for revenue but more than that.
“It is no longer about negotiations anymore, it’s about putting everything on the table and to discuss as partners because all legacy issues require partnerships.
“My position here is to see that there is a honest and transparent disclosure.
“This is relating to Porgera as I am very much anxious about the future of the mine going forward.”