PNGEITI praises open dialogue

The PNG Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (PNGEITI) has praised the open stakeholder dialogue culminating in the reaching of consensus to re-open the Porgera Mine in Enga Province

Parties in April this year sanctioned a “Framework Agreement for the New Porgera Project” which spells out the roadmap to reopen the mine.

Mark Bristow, CEO and President of Barrick Gold, last week explained key elements of “the framework at a public forum at the Piam Oval in Porgera, witnessed by Prime Minister James Marape, landowners and other leaders.

In the new agreement, PNG stakeholders will together own a 51 percent equity stake in the mine while Barrick Niugini Limited (BNL), a joint venture company in which Barrick and Zijin Mining Group each own 50 percent, will hold 49 percent. 

BNL will remain the mine operator. At the end of the first ten-year period, the PNG stakeholders will have the option to purchase BNL’s 49 percent portion.   

PNGEITI Head of Secretariat, Lucas Alkan, said: “We at the PNGEITI congratulate the Government and the project lead, Barrick Gold, and other stakeholders for reaching a consensus to reopen the mine.

“Porgera has been an economic powerhouse for many years and people in the country have been waiting for the outcome.

“We commend the Prime Minister, the President and CEO of Barrick Gold, Mark Bristow, for the leadership in ensuring that the negotiations were done in a transparent and open manner.

“PNG Extractive Industries Transparency highly encourages such openness in the negotiation process for resource benefits and importantly, the responsibilities that each stakeholder must take on to ensure a smooth flow of proceeds.

“We look forward to working with the Government and the project operator in the areas of transparency and accountability to help derive best value for all stakeholders.”

(A shovel working at the Porgera Mine open pit – PJV image)

Carmella Gware