Mining Minister Byron Chan has expressed satisfaction with the progress of the Porgera memorandum of agreement review this year.
Mr Chan, in a statement, said this year has witnessed a real commitment by parties to the Porgera MoA wherein two meetings have been held progressing discussions to a stage where the parties were confident that they can sign off before the end of the year.
“I am pleased with the progress of the Porgera MoA review this year and the government looks forward to singing off this long overdue MoA before December this year,” Mr Chan said.
“The landowners, Enga Provincial Government and the state have demonstrated their commitment in progressing the review process this far and I commend them for their efforts and encourage them to finish what they have started.
“I am informed that this is probably the only time the review itself has come this far and appeal to all parties to conclude the review.”
He said the review process has not been smooth though with factions within the landowners themselves threatening to shut down the Porgera mine demanding greater recognition of their involvement in the review as well as laying claims to state funds which the claim is rightfully due to them.
“I am informed that the matter between the state and the Porgera Young Generation is currently before the courts, and until such time as the courts have made a decision, I am not at liberty to make any comments with respect toe their claims for funds from the state,” he said.
Last month, the Mt Kare Young Generation Association issued a 14 day ultimatum petitioning the prime minister stating their various claims and demands.
“In the meantime, I appeal to them to join the rest of the parties at the next review meeting,” Mr Chan said.
The minister also appealed to parties to the MOA not to threaten the disruption of the mine as means of leveraging their demands.
“I must commend all parties including the Young Generation for ensuring that despite the threat to shut down the Porgera mine recently, common sense and restraint was applied resulting in no action being taken against the mine,” he said.
Mr Chan assured both the Porgera landowners and the Porgera Joint Venture that the government was doing everything in its power to ensure that the review is completed and that “we not entertain threats to disrupt mine operations”.