Barrick has nothing to offer, says Papua New Guinea Prime Minister

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape told  parliament yesterday that the former operator of the Progera Gold Mine, Barrick (Niugini) Ltd has nothing to offer as they do not own anything at all. In responding to a question by the Member for Alotau Charles Abel regarding the consequential losses of businesses and jobs through the closure of the Porgera gold mine since 27 April 2020, Marape said that his government is prioritizing to ensure the mine is reopened by September, 2020.

It is understood that Dr Ila Temu who is a director and country manager for Barrick is the brother of Dr Puka Temu, the member for Abau and the parliamentary party leader for Our Development Party. Charles Abel is also a member of the ODP, and therefore it seemed obvious his questions were sponsored by Dr Ila Temu and Barrick to be raised in parliament.

However, the Prime Minister with a deep conviction for a change strenuously stressed over a lengthy period that Barrick's term over the lease it held has expired and it must leave Porgera and PNG peaceful without fighting us in our own country.

Marape further elaborated that the mine will be owned by the State, Enga Provincial Government and the Landowners. The equity participation split will be subject of further negotiations between the parties.

Meanwhile, 2 months of Barrick's 12 months period under the Mining Development Contract to close the mine and remove its assets has lapsed. Its is understood that per the MDC, the assets will become State's property if Barrick fails to remove the assets within that 12 months period.

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