KMHL wants parties to agree
Kumul Mineral Holdings Ltd (KMHL) wants to see the Porgera gold mine reopened soon but only after parties involved agree on how to go about it, an official says.
Chairman and acting managing director Peter Graham said the parties included the Government, KMHL, Barrick Niugini Limited (BNL) and the owners of the land where the mine was located.
He made the statement after Prime Minister James Marape said the Government expected KMHL to reopen the mine “immediately”.
The mine was closed in April after the Government did not renew the special mining lease held by BNL since 1989 and instead awarded a new one to KMHL.
BNL is challenging that decision in court.
Graham yesterday said KMHL wanted to see the Porgera mine reopened as soon as possible but “achieving this outcome requires agreement” between the parties.
“Kumul Minerals has been granted SML 11 which BNL is contesting in the PNG courts,” he said.
“The joint venture (BNL and others) owns the mine infrastructure and other mining assets which are currently under care and maintenance, and most of the workforce is expected to be available since they have been retrenched.”
He said while the BNL case was pending in court, Marape “has engaged with all parties in an effort to chart a way forward”.
During presentation of the licence to KMHL early this month, Marape indicated that Barrick would be the first company, the State through KMHL, would approach to partner, for the development of the mine.
Graham said KMHL had proposed to engage Barrick on interim arrangements to restart the Porgera mine, plus negotiating for a longer term, and BNL as an equity participant and operator.