The Waigani National Court was today informed of Barrick Niugini’s actions over the weekend which saw an attempt by Barrick to transport what it claims to be third party assets from the mine site to Lae.
When the matter between the state and Barrick returned to court today, state lawyers were disappointed that Barrick did not inform them or the Court before removing what it claims to be third party assets out from the Mine.
The State claimed that the defendants (state) and the Court were not informed by Barrick Nuigini Limited prior to this exercise.
The actions, in the defendants view, disrespected the Court, claiming there was no agreement in place to verify which assets were third party.
Currently, the state has not been given an inventory of all the assets including 3rd party assets. The Solicitor General advised that appropriate evidence regarding this issue should be provided as soon as possible.
Barrick Nuigini Limited over the weekend released a statement confirmed that a convoy of vehicles carrying third party assets left the mine site for Lae but were turned back by police.
And Barrick defended its actions stating that it acted upon a Court Order issued on the 17th of July 2020, which stated that the assets carried by the convoy could be transported from the mine for the purpose of repatriation to their owners and that the restrain on convoy movement appeared to have been done in direct contravention of that order.
The interim orders issued by the Court on the 17th of July 2020, Order number two, says “all parties are forthwith restrained from either removing or entering into any transaction or arrangement that concerns Porgera Mine related Assets, plants or equipment or installation EXCEPT, only for third party items that are subject to existing lease or rental with the Pogera Joint Venture or the Pogera Mine operations”.
According to the Solicitor General, Tauvasa Tanuvasa, the orders Barrick quoted and used to defend its actions are not the final orders and that all parties were asked to return to Court today to finalize these orders.
The matter however was moved to 3pm tomorrow.