The Barrick owned Porgera Gold Mine operations were temporarily suspended as of yesterday, after the National Government’s decision not to extend its Special Mining Lease.
While awaiting formal letter from the National Government regarding its decision, Barrick has temporarily suspended mining and mineral processing operations.
This is to ensure the safety and security of its employees and communities.
While the mining and mineral processing operations are temporarily suspended, staff at the critical safety, security and environmental areas will still be working during this period.
Barrick Nuigini Limited in a recent statement said it would challenge the National Government’s decision in court, and recovers any damages that BNL may suffer as a result.
BNL says the Government’s decision not to extend the SML was without due process, and in violation of the National Government’s legal obligations to BNL.
Barrick applied for an extension of the SML in June 2017, and has proposed a benefit sharing arrangement that would deliver more than half the economic benefits to PNG stakeholders including the Government for 20 years.
In August 2019, the National Court confirmed Barrick’s right to renewal of SML.
Barrick is also concerned that the National Government has failed to listen to the legitimate Landowners of Porgera Mine who are supporting the extension of the SML.
However, there are two groups claiming to be the legitimate LO’s.
One in favour of Barrick, while the other is against Barrick.
By Vasinatta Yama, EMTV News, Mt Hagen