PJV has accorded its employees the opportunity to return to the mine site one last time to do proper clearance of their personal effects from the camps and to have their redundancy documents processed.
As of Wednesday, 1st July, the PJV HR group began the redundancy exercise processing both fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) employees and local mine award employees.
Given the large workforce number, the redundancy exercise will take the company until the end of July.
Approximately 500 staff employees and 300 award employees will remain employed at this stage to assist in providing the required Care and Maintenance activity, the majority being Asset Protection Officers (APD) and local guards.
Gibson Manape, a diamond driller with the Open Pit for 12 years, was with the first group of award mine employees to be processed by the PJV HR team on Wednesday 1st July.
He said the government should practice some leniency on the tax component of the redundancy entitlements for the affected mine workers as it takes out a large portion of their rightful earnings.
“My father has worked here and paid taxes and so have I and now even on my redundancy, I still have to pay taxes. My redundancy is the government’s doing and so I appeal to the government to do something about reducing tax for the jobless mine employees.
“I could use that tax money to improve my livelihood, build a house or buy a truck instead I keep giving to the government. The hardship is going to be real and I ask for the government to show some compassion at this time,” Mr Manape said.
Long serving Open Pit operator, Dika Akoya, who has served the operation for 25 years, said he is thankful to PJV for providing him employment over the years, but he departs a confused man.
“I don’t know what I will do now. I have a family to feed and school fees to pay. The government is taking a lot in taxes and I am not happy. The country and government have benefited from Porgera mine for so many years and I should be allowed to take home my final entitlements without paying high taxes,” Akoya expressed.
Friday 26 June 2020 marked the last payroll for the mine employees made redundant. Final entitlement payments are expected to be completed on 27th July 2020.
The company is extending existing medical and life insurance coverage for those employees who have been made redundant for a 3-month period post redundancy.
In officially announcing the redundancy on Thursday 24 June, Executive Managing Director (EMD) Tony Esplin thanked all employees for their loyalty, professionalism and contributions to the success of the Porgera gold mine over the past 30 years and particularly for the resilience and support for one another over the past year.