Porgera Mine review conclusion expected this week

THE Porgera mine project memorandum of agreement (MOA) review is expected to be concluded in Port Moresby this week.

The meeting was adjourned last week in Kokopo, as a contentious issue issue had been raised, which parties were not able to resolve amicably.

The issue was the inclusion of the operator-Porgera Mine-Barrick (PNG) Limited, as party to the agreement.

The company has been an observer since discussions on the commenced two years ago.

During the meeting both the landowners and the Engan Provincial Government had proposed the company be made party to the agreement, so as to formalise the company’s participation in terms of implementing certain obligations.

A leader of the association Maso Mangape had insisted that happen as he stated the developer had major obligations that it had to honour in agreement.

He has stated this would only happen if the company were a party.

However, Barrick had expressed reluctance. Among reasons it had cited was the fact that no new party could be introduced during a review process without fundamentals affecting obligations under the existing agreement and any new one.

With parties unable to resolve this issue the meeting had to be adjourned.

Chairman of the meeting Shadrach Himata had expressed satisfaction that the meeting overall was successful.

As a way forward, all parties had resolved that another meeting be held specifically to discuss this outstanding issue. It is expected this will involve higher authorities from all sides, including the Minister for Mining on behalf of the State, Enga Politicians, landowner leaders and top level executives of Barrick ideally from the company’s headquarters in Toronto, Canada.

Mr Himata had instructed that the meeting me held this week.

This is the final stage of the review process as the parties have gone through most of the commitments in the agreement over the last 18 months.
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