Barrick Niugini and Porgera Landowners Agree on Extension of Special Mining Lease
Barrick Niugini Limited majority owner and operator of the Porgera gold mine, and the Porgera Landowners Association (PLOA), have agreed how benefits should be shared under a 20-year extension of the Porgera Special Mining Lease (SML). The extension application is currently being considered by the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Government.
The PLOA announced today that it was calling on the government to renew the lease on the basis of this agreement, which is consistent with proposals BNL presented to the State Negotiating Team (SNT) last July and with Prime Minister Marape’s call for a 50/50 equal sharing of economic benefits between the country and investors in major resource projects.
“If the Government makes an unwise decision on SML without listening to the voice of the authentic landowners, we note that we still own the land and no mining can take place without our permission,” the PLOA announcement says.
“The mine is our garden and, with SML extension on terms fair to the landowners, will continue to provide us with benefits and improvements in the lives of the men, women and children of Porgera and PNG for many years to come.”
The terms of the BNL-PLOA agreement have been detailed in a joint letter delivered to PNG Prime Minister James Marape.
Barrick President and Chief Executive Mark Bristow said the agreement would, in fact, deliver significantly more than 50% of the economic benefits to Porgera’s PNG stakeholders, which includes the national government.
“Our modelling projects that over the course of the potential 20-year SML extension period, landowners and the local community could receive more than US$1 billion at a gold price of US$1,300 per ounce and PNG as a whole could receive over US$4.5 billion, assuming Porgera’s continued management by BNL,” he said.
“We look forward to engaging again with the State Negotiating Team as soon as possible to reach a final SML extension agreement that enables Porgera to continue to be a model of successful partnership between PNG and international investors.”