Porgera to reopen soon: PM

Prime Minister James Marape has announced that Porgera Gold Mine would reopen as soon as tax matters of the old Porgera between developer Barrick and Internal Revenue Commission (IRC) were sorted.

He said the Government did not have everyday control over IRC’s work IRC had made assessments and had been in conflict with Barrick over their assessment criteria.

“Barrick has asked some fundamental questions, especially on the IRC’s definition of ‘taxable stripping’, in as far as resource harvest is concerned,” Marape said.

“Barrick is of the view that the current ‘taxable stripping’ definition is not consistent with practice and law, hence the prolonged dispute, so we had to intervene.

“The laws of our country allow for the arbitration process to be deployed if disputes arises at the end of IRC’s assessment, but in the national interest, we felt that instead of going through a lengthy arbitration process, it was better that we get an independent panel to look into the issue.

“We’ve asked the independent panel to look at the law and current practice, and measure against IRC’s assessment, on Barrick’s SML 1 operation and tax submissions.”

“I thank Barrick for paying for care and maintenance of the mine up to this point in time, and is increasing by the day, which is why the independent panel was established to look into the taxation issue and have the mine back in operation at the earliest,” he said.

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