The joint venture partners include landowners and the Enga Provincial Government, as well as significant economic benefits to Papua New Guinea as a whole.
“Those benefits include an advanced payment this week of an additional K59 million in corporate income tax paid by Barrick Niugini Limited, for a total of over K215 million for 2019,” said PJV.
Barrick Niugini Limited General Manager - Corporate and Legal, Anthony Smare, recently commended PJV staff and employees for meeting and exceeding mine production and financial targets in 2019, after the mine exceeded budgeted gold production for the year by approximately 16,000 ounces.
“In terms of both operational and financial performance, 2019 has been one of Porgera’s best years for more than a decade, with a total of 597,000 ounces of gold produced at an all sustaining cost of USD1,002 per ounce and direct operating costs on target at USD338million (approx. K1.01 billion),” Smare said.
“Through careful cost control and disciplined management of a highly complex mine, the Porgera Joint Venture was able to deliver an exceptional result for all stakeholders in 2019.
“As a consequence of our performance, the mine also made an enormous contribution to the PNG economy during 2019 through expenditure on goods and services, and the payment of taxes and royalties.
“Barrick Niugini Limited – which holds 95 percent of the Porgera Joint Venture – has paid over K215 million in direct corporate taxes in relation to the 2019 year and contributed a further K207 million in royalty payments and other taxes, including income tax on employee salaries and duties paid on imported goods and services.
“In light of an exceptional performance by the mine and the sustained increase in the gold price during 2019, the company has estimated that an additional corporate income tax of just over K59 million is payable to the National Government in relation to the 2019 year. We are pleased to be able to provide this advance payment to the Treasurer this week, ensuring the Government has access to ongoing funding for important public services.
“This makes BNL one of the largest taxpayers in PNG with the tax and royalty payments we generate being a critical component of the Government’s revenues,” Smare said.
Smare noted that the mine had also facilitated the re-opening of the Paiam Hospital during 2019 and had provided significant financial and operational support to the hospital administration, Enga Provincial Health Authority and other stakeholders, to ensure that the hospital was providing effective health care services to the Porgera community.
“Supporting the provision of quality health care services for the people of Porgera through the refurbishment and reopening of the Paiam Hospital is one of our greatest achievements in 2019 – the work undertaken by the dedicated team at the hospital can be life-saving,” he said.
“We have also made significant contributions to the schools and community organisations in the Porgera District, and provided much needed maintenance of infrastructure in our local communities.”
Smare said a key priority this year would be the ongoing engagement with National Government on the Barrick Niugini Limited application to extend the duration of the Porgera Special Mining Lease.
He added that the BNL shareholders are committed to working with the government to negotiate terms that reflect a fair distribution of economic benefits among the stakeholders in the mine, and that are economically viable for the mine to continue operations.
“We look forward to re-engaging with the National Government and the State Negotiating Team in the coming days and weeks to discuss the proposals put to the Government in late 2019. We believe these define a fair distribution of benefits derived from the mine.”
Extension of the life of the Porgera Special Mining Lease will allow the operation to continue to make significant contributions to public revenue and the economy of Papua New Guinea for many years to come.