PNG Government must Negotiate Porgera Gold Mine Solution now : O'Neill

The country  and Enga Province have suffered terribly because of James Marape’s decision leading to the shutdown of the Porgera Mine, and he must get off his hands to fix his mess.
PNG's The Leader of the People’s National Congress Party, Hon. Peter O’Neill, CMG, MP, said the time has well and truly passed for wasting time on politics and grandstanding, and Marape must immediately return to the negotiating table to re-open the Porgera mine.
“Re-opening the Porgera mine should not be an issue to decide in court, it is an issue to be resolved between key stakeholders, Government, Landowners and investors, sitting down and negotiating in good faith,” Mr. O’Neill said.

“Barrick have put a revised proposal on the table, Marape has not put forward any proposal, so instead of ignoring opportunities to move forward, he should get to work now.
“If he thinks there is more that can be negotiated for our people he has to articulate his argument, but no one will know until the parties sit down to negotiate.
“So instead of hiding behind the State Negotiating Team and his hollow Facebook posts, it is Marape who must find some courage and take the lead right now.”
Peter O’Neill said that by just hoping the issue will fix itself, Marape has forced PNG into a much weaker negotiating position, which Barrick well knows and is using it to their advantage.
“Enga and Landowners have lost tens of millions of Kina in revenue that is now gone and cannot be replaced this year, thousands of jobs have already been lost, and hundreds of businesses have closed.
“But this is just the tip of the iceberg as services that had been funded by the mine in Enga are being cut including electricity supply, healthcare services, support for policing and judiciary administration, and infrastructure projects that are now being stopped.
“In desperation Enga Province has been going around Marape to leverage a solution, but they cannot do this alone.
“That being said, Barrick and Zijin are also losing hundreds of millions of dollars because of the mine shutdown, and they have an urgency to reach a negotiated solution.
“All parties need this crisis resolved, so before the State’s position weakens further, Marape must get back to the table, and negotiate a way forward.”
Mr. O’Neill said it is tragic that one man is causing all of this damage because of his ego and obsession to try and look tough, but all this grandstanding has done is to cause massive hurt to our people.
“Enough of Marape saying this is just short-term pain, because that is an insult to the workers and small businesses who have had their lives ruined by Marape’s decision.
“It is hard for anyone to really understand how Marape got this so terribly wrong, and how such bad decisions could have been made with no idea of the dreadful consequences for our people.
“We do not criticise the government for seeking a better deal, but it must be done properly and these proposals should have been put forward over the past year, instead of letting the mine close right in the middle of a serious health and economic crisis.
“The people of the Nation and Enga will cast harsh judgement on the leaders responsible for this pain when they vote at the 2022 election, but we cannot wait for another two years of indecision and increased hardship.”

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Barrick Gold Vows To Fight 'Nationalization' Of Gold Mine In Papua New Guinea

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