Barrick's Special Mining Lease expired, New SML given to KMHL for Porgera Gold Mine, says PNG PM

Papua New Guinea  Prime Minister James Marape responds to queries on the Special Mining Lease (SML) issued to Kumul Minerals Holding Ltd (KMHL), for Pogera gold mine as speculated by many in the last few days.

For the records , the lease held by BNL expired on August 16, 2019 and despite BNL’s application for renewal lodged to MRA on 29th of June 2017, due process as prescribed by our country’s mining laws through Mining Advisory Council ( MAC), rejected their bid.

“Our country is not a banana republic or dictatorship but run by dictates of public policy and regulations and laws. Hence MRA in their independence and free will progressed new SML applications and on record both KMHL and BNL applied and decision was made in favor of KMHL.” PM Marape said.

Prime Minister Marape says at this juncture that BNL has all rights to contest our process in Court but it is in all parties interest to conclude the court cases fast. “Events have overtaken but if Barrick feels they want to be still at Pogera, then it is now up to them to meet KMHL to discuss how they could remain in Pogera under KMHL’s SML. As I have said equity plus operatorship option is on the table subject to negotiations.” PM Marape says.

My Government’s policies to empower our citizens and our country takes precedence when opportunities presents and with the expiring of lease and through the failure of lease renewal by a legitimate process, we had no option but to progress in the manner we have done in as far as Pogera is concern.” Marape said.

The Prime Minister also assures all landowners and Enga Provincial Government that they stand to gain from this new SML in a far better way with baseline precedent being the Ok Tedi share structures. State is not new to mining business, we operating Ok Tedi Mines. PM Marape mentioned.

To all landowners, I am your government, I have your interest at heart, Barrick never respected you as a 2.5% equity partner in 2015 when they passed on 47.5% to Zinzin , yet today 5 years on they claim to represent your interests? Why did not Barrick give you first option then in 2015.

Look at OK Tedi Mine. Landowners have presently 16.5% free equity at no cost to them, Western Provincial Government has 16.5% equity thanks to Peter O’Neill’s government.

So for Pogera , I am here to secure your inheritance.

Don’t sell your birth rights for a plate of food like Essau did to Jacob, this is your right, I am not going to compromise 600,000 ounces of gold a year for the next 20 years for today’s convenience.

KMHL will call the 24 clans and Enga Provincial Government on the structure of the joint venture for Pogera going forward. And we want to open the mine at the earliest.

To Barrick , a letter from KMHL is on it’s way to you. If you really care about landowners and contractors and PNG as you claim then reply to it and get on a plane and come to PNG.

I am in my country doing what I know is right, James Marape can be gone but many leaders I share parliament with today has these public policy views and you can not ignore this mindset, it is contemporary, it will be here so deal with it.

To other investors, Pogera case is different from you all, landowners and provincial government have been 5% owners, national government has nothing since 1989, however the project has never been disturbed until lease expired last August.

I hope you and all understand that my people’s greater interest is bigger then me or one or two person.


Next : 

Marape-Steven Govt's granting of SML to KMH Ltd over Porgera will increase Economic Hardships for PNG : Namah

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