Barrick Niugini Limited (BNL) has arrived at a binding framework outcome with the government of Papua New Guinea (PNG) that will allow it to restart operations this year.
Under the framework, Porgera will be owned by a joint venture that includes PNG stakeholders (51%) and BNL (49%), with the latter remaining operator. It also outlines that Porgera landowners and the Enga province to have a dialogue about the allocation of a 10% protected equity that is part of PNG’s interest holding.
At an event to commemorate the framework, which was attended by Barrick President and Chief Executive Mark Bristow, Prime Minister James Marape, Enga Governor Peter Ipatas and local Member of Parliament Tomait Kapili, Bristow said the agreement has made every involved party, including landowners, national government, the province and BNL, a “committed stakeholder responsible for the long-term success” of the complex.
“In aligning our interests, it recognizes the importance of the landowners and the communities, and prioritises the benefits they will receive, not only from the mine but from a new Porgera Development Fund that will invest tens of millions of Kina in promising local projects,” said Bristow.
“In addition, BNL is committed to giving preference to competitive local contractors and suppliers and to employing Porgerans first. With BNL as operator, Porgera will also redouble its efforts to be a responsible steward of the environment,” he said.
The groups first announced the partnership for the open-pit and underground mine on April 9. Porgera, which is located 600 kilometres from Port Moresby, has been on care and maintenance since April 2020.