Barrick Gold division Barrick Niugini Limited (BNL) and the government of Papua New Guinea (PNG) have come to an agreement on the future ownership and operation of the Porgera gold operations, paving the way for its restart later this year.

The mine had been on care and maintenance since April 2020, which is when PNG government officials opted to not approval a renewal to the project’s special mining lease.

Under the terms of the new agreement, Porgera will now be a joint venture asset owned by BNL (49%) and PNG stakeholders (51%). Other elements of the new deal: PNG stakeholders and BNL to share economic benefits over the mine’s life on a 53%/47% basis and financing for the restart being taken on by BNL.

Additionally, the state will retain a right to acquire the remaining 49% of the mine from BNL at fair market value after 10 years, officials said.

Barrick did not release a definitive timeline for the restart, as the final agreements have not yet been signed.

Barrick Gold President and Chief Executive Mark Bristow said that the miner, on behalf of its joint venture partners Barrick and Zijin Mining, that Barrick is delivering on its promise of “reaching a fair agreement on the future of Porgera” for the benefit of all involved, including the local community the Enga province and the PNG government.

“We intend to partner with all key stakeholders to make Porgera a world-class, long-life gold mine,” he said.

The Porgera JV is an open-pit and underground gold operation that is situated at an altitude of 2,200-2,600 metres, approximately 600 kilometres northwest of Port Moresby. 

Source: Barrick Gold

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