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Barrick Niugini gets Preventive orders to Stop PNG Govt further actions on Porgera Mine

A COURT in Papua New Guinea has ordered the PNG Government not to take any further action on its decision not to extend the Porgera mine special mining lease pending a judicial review of that decision. The stay order was sought by the mine operator Barrick Niugini Ltd, which is seeking a judicial review of the government decision not to renew the special mining lease which had expired in August last year. Deputy Chief Justice Ambeng Kandakasi granted the stay order last Friday. BNL is arguing that it has the right to a renewal of the special mining lease. BNL’s lawyer Derek Wood of Ashurst Lawyers told the court that the company sought the stay so that it could remain on site to protect and secure assets, maintain the land to ensure the environment was in safe and stable condition, including security. Solicitor-General Tauvasa Tanuvasa opposed the stay order saying the decision by the National Executive Council had already been gazetted by the Head of State and registered by the Registrar of Tenements. “The relief sought by BNL is unnecessary because the safety, care and maintenance of the mine site is already taken care of in Clause 19 of the mining development contract,” Tanuvasa said. “Clause 19 allows the Porgera Joint Venture access to the mine site for a one-year period following the (mining lease) expiry date. The State has not done anything to deprive the miner of such rights.” But Justice Kandakasi granted the stay after considering the status quo of the substantive review to avoid interference through further applications from parties involved in the matter. The review is schedule for July 28. Next : PNG Govt not to be blamed for Delayed Porgera Mine Opening Dilemma
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