The Waigani National Court has ordered Barrick Niugini Limited, the State and Mineral Resources Authority to meet and discuss with a view to resolve the NEC’s decision not to renew Barrick’s Special Mining Licence in Porgera.
Amongst the six court orders issued by Justice Ambeng Kadakasi, the Courts have restrained all persons either connected or not connected with Barrick to refrain from commenting on public forums regarding the government’s refusal to extend Barricks licence.
The decision is predicted to have affected over three thousand employees both in PNG and abroad.
All operations at the Porgera Gold Mine in Enga has partial stopped with government deploying PNGDF personnel to protect the mine infrastructure.
On 24th April Prime Minister James Marape announced the government will not extend Barrick’s SML.
On April 25th Barrick Niugini issued a statement saying they will challenge the matter in court and says there is no guarantee Barrick will hand over the Mining Lease back to the state.
Barrick described NEC’s decision as confusing as the government didn’t negotiate with Barrick to formalize what they expect as a transitional arrangement.
The six court orders issued by the Waigani National Court follows Barricks’s urgent application seeking the court’s directive for an interim stay on NEC’s decision not to renew Barrick’s Special Mining Lease.
The matter will return to court on Friday this week and courts is expected to deliberate on a decision the application for interim stay.
Meanwhile the Justice Foundation for Porgera has applauded Marape’ stand in refusing Barrick application to extend the SML.
And students from Porgera have raised concerns asking all parties involved to properly addressing this issue.
By Theckla Gunga, EMTV News, Port Moresby.