Barrick President and Chief Executive Mark Bristow, along with Zijin Executive Director and Senior Vice President George Fang, met with Papua New Guinea’s new Prime Minister Honourable James Marape and reaffirmed the company’s commitment to working with the PNG government and local communities to ensure that the Porgera gold mine continues to deliver value to its stakeholders past the expiry of the current Special Mining Lease on 16 August 2019.
|Image source ©Barrick Gold|
While in the country, Bristow also held meetings with Enga Governor Sir Peter Ipatas, Porgera landowners, and other stakeholders.
Since pouring its first gold in 1990, Porgera has paid more than Kina 3.6 billion (US$1.1 billion) in taxes and Kina 1 billion (US$297 million) plus Kina 600 million (US$178 million) in equity cash payments and royalties respectively to the provincial government and customary landowners. This represents a significant contribution to the country’s economy, as well as a substantial amount to the landowners on whose properties the mine is located. An application to extend Porgera’s special mining lease for a further 20 years is currently in progress.
Bristow said Porgera was an important long-term asset for PNG as well as the mine’s owners, Barrick Gold Corporation and Zijin Mining Group.
“The proposed extension to its lease will allow the mine to remain productive for at least another 20 years. To sustain mine operations, however, it will require a significant capital injection, and it is difficult to justify that kind of investment without the security of an extended mine lease,” he said.
“Barrick believes in true partnership with our host countries, sharing both the responsibilities and the benefits that come with mining. We are engaging with the government to breathe new life into our long-standing partnership, so that Porgera continues to deliver value to all its stakeholders. In our meeting with the Porgera landowners, we invited our stakeholders to join us in continuing to improve the quality of life, security and welfare in the Porgera valley.”
Porgera is a joint venture between Barrick and the Zijin Mining Group, which each owns 47.5 per cent with the remaining 5 per cent interest being held by Mineral Resources Enga (owned equally by Porgera Special Mining Lease Landowners and the Enga Provincial Government). The mine is operated by Barrick (Niugini) Limited.
The Porgera gold mine is in the Enga Province of Papua New Guinea at an altitude of 2,200 – 2,700m. It is 130km west of Mt. Hagen and 600km northwest of the capital Port Moresby.
Porgera employs over 3,300 Papua New Guineans of which 1,900 are from Porgera and nearby Enga. Over the life of mine it has produced more than 20Moz of gold and contributed approximately 10 per cent of Papua New Guinea’s total annual exports.