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Govt issues mining leases

The Government has granted special mining leases to operators of the Porgera gold mine in Enga, and the cement and lime project in Central, says Prime Minister James Marape.

The lease for the Porgera mine which expired last August was granted to Kumul Minerals Holdings Limited (KMHL).

He explained that the decision to refuse Barrick Niugini Ltd’s application for an extension of its licence was reached after an independent process by the mining advisory committee.

Marape said the Government was keen on talking to Barrick Niugini Ltd (BNL) to get the gold and copper mine back in operation.

It was closed in April after the Government rejected the extension of the special mining lease.

BNL unsuccessfully challenged the matter in court.

BNL had been operating the mine since 2016.

Marape said plans were in place to acquire BNL assets and retain workers and contractors.

He also reassured landowners in the mine-impacted areas of better benefits.

He said the option of operatorship and equity was on the table for Porgera joint venture partners Barrick and Zijin.

“Should you wish to remain partners with us, we will remind you of unfulfilled commitments like resettlement, tax liabilities, community obligations,” Marape said.

Marape also said the Government had granted a 20-year mining lease to Mayur Resources Ltd’s cement and lime project.

Mayur Resources said the grant allowed construction to begin on the manufacturing facility located 25km north-west of Port Moresby.

Mayur managing director Paul Mulder earlier said with a number of multi-billion-dollar resource and infrastructure projects in the pipeline in PNG, “we expect that the demand for cement, a key ingredient of concrete, will increase dramatically”. Mining Minister Johnson Tuke, agreed the project promised considerable upside for Papua New Guinea.

Central Governor Robert Agarobe said the geographic location of the project raised its value well promising an overall better quality of life for the province.

Source: https://www.thenational.com.pg/govt-issues-mining-leases/

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