Mediation between BNL, State on hold
A mediation between the State and Barrick Niugini Ltd (BNL), which was supposed to start yesterday, has been put on hold to clear some legal issues before further action can be taken.
The mediation ordered by the National Court last Tuesday was in relation to a judicial review proceedings BNL, the operator of Porgera gold mine, had filed against the state for refusing its special mining lease (SML).
Deputy Chief Justice Ambeng Kandakasi informed the parties that mediation had to be on hold to clear out legal issues that had been raised by the State.
The State had filed an application to dismiss the judicial review proceedings as it claimed that it was an abuse of court process, while Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) filed a competency application against the review sought by BNL.
Justice Kandakasi asked the parties to provide the court with case laws that proved it’s safe to proceed with mediation.
He ordered the parties to return on Thursday to determine whether the court should hear the application or set new dates for mediation.
Justice Kandakasi ordered mediation in regards to the issue before the court after parties showed arrogance and took the position of the matter despite the court on several occasions asking them to resolve the issue outside the court.
The issue that remains to be resolved is whether the Government’s decision to refuse the BNL’s SML was unreasonable, which the miner claimed was unreasonable in the Wednesbury sense (a reasoning or decision made unreasonable or irrational).