By Vasinatta Yama – EM TV News, Mt Hagen
For the first time after thirty (30) years, landowners of the Barrick-owned Porgera Gold Mine had the chance to air their views at a warden hearing yesterday.
It was facilitated by the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) since the Porgera Joint Venture’s Special Mining Lease (SML) License is nearing its expiration date.
The 30 years Special Mining Lease License awarded for the mining operation will end in August this year, from which Porgera Joint Venture as the current developer, would like to extend the operation for another 20 years.
The Warden hearing is one of the first processes involved before awarding the actual SML license.
It is for the developer to address landowners about their operational plans, and for the Chief Warden to identify landowners, record, and assess their views.
Other processes that will come later are the re-negotiation of deals, compensation and benefits, Memorandum of Agreement, and the reports to the Mining Minister, which will take at least two years to complete.
Porgera Joint Venture made it clear to the landowners that if the SML license is granted, they will continue to invest in the landowners, support Enga Provincial Government, boost economic benefits through its levies and taxes, and have agreed to become part of a Memorandum of Agreement with LO’s, EPG, and other parties.
The developer has plans to trial resettlement pilot programs for affected landowners and will be vocal for royalty benefits to be given directly to landowners instead of a group or association.
Last year, PJV paid a K3.8 billion tax to PNG Government through Levis, income tax and compensation.
They also invested K438 million to infrastructure buildings, health, education in Enga Province, and provided free electricity to homes in Porgera district.
They have also spent K1.2 billion awarding contracts to landowner businesses and groups and promised to continue.
Follow this link https://emtv.com.pg/porgera-landowners-demands-at-the-warden-hearing/ to know the Porgera landowner’s demands at the Warden hearing.