Namah dismisses Porgera deal

Leader of the Opposition, Belden Norman Namah, says there is nothing to celebrate on the recent Porgera deal between the Government and operator, Barrick Gold.

He claimed that the mine closure has cost the country much and the reopening will cost even more.

In a statement, he said the deal which Prime Minister James Marape has signed off on, is no deal, as it was the offer on the table right from the start.

He called on Marape to tell the nation how much his “short term pain” through the closure of the mine has cost the nation.

He further demanded that the Prime Minister guarantee the return of jobs for the 3,600 workers of Porgera and a backpay for the losses suffered.

Namah stressed that the 51 percent equity in Porgera gold mine must be broken down to how the State will fund that component, considering it has a current total debt overhanging at about US$11 billion or nearly 50 percent of GDP and a budget financing gap of K6.23 billion in 2021 alone.

Under the arrangement that was agreed to, Barrick will finance the restart of the mine and will also finance 64 percent of shareholders’ equity, including 10 percent free carry equity for landowners.

Namah called on Marape to say where Mineral Resources Enga will get its money to finance its 5 percent share and where Kumul Mineral Holdings will get its funds for its 36 percent portion.

Previously, the Enga Provincial Government and Special Mining Lease landowners equally shared a 5 percent equity in the project through Mineral Resources Enga, while 95 percent was held between BNL and Zijin Mining Group at 47.5 percent each.

Under the new deal, landowners will have the opportunity to increase their equity beyond 15 percent with the additional 10 percent free equity paid for by BNL.

Another result captured in the agreement is the immediate employment of former employees and development of key leadership and technical capabilities for Kumul Mineral Holdings Limited.

Press release