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PNG Government bid to dismiss Review Proceedings filed by Barrick Niugini

Papua New Guinea Government Solicitor-General Tauvasa Tanuvasa has filed an application in the Waigani National Court to dismiss a judicial review proceeding filed by Barrick Niugini Ltd (BNL), operator of Porgera gold mine in Enga. The application is seeking to dismiss a review of Government’s decision not to renew BNL’s special mining lease (SML) of the mine. SOLICITOR-General Tauvasa Tanuvasa Photo credit: The National The applications were heard by Deputy Chief Justice Ambeng Kandakasi on Friday. Tanuvasa proposed that the review proceedings be dismissed on the grounds that it was an abuse of court process and the Government’s decision was not reviewable. Tanuvasa informed the court that in addition to the review proceedings, BNL had also started two other actions currently pending. One of the actions is a conciliation proceedings BNL had registered at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in the United States. The court was informed that the miner had threatened to start an arbitration proceeding should such conciliation fail. Tanuvasa, in his submission, stated that BNL was granted leave for review on limited grounds on the scope to allow state to produce a copy of NEC’s decision which was not in evidence at that time. He further submitted that BNL’s remaining grounds of review which are: Failing to take into account relevant consideration; (b) arriving at the decision in bad faith; and (c) the NEC decision not reasonable in the Wednesday sense can be immediately disposed of by reference to the NEC decision. The ground of not taking into account relevant consideration is not applicable since by law, NEC decision took into account minimum consideration specified under the Mining Act and Constitution. The court was told that since NEC’s decision was evident in court, it confirms that NEC “noted” the recommendation of the Mining Advisory Committee (MAC) in its deliberation of the SML extension application. “This, therefore confirms that NEC ‘considered’ the recommendation as required by the Mining Act,” Tanuvasa said. BNL through its lawyer from Ashurst Lawyers generally opposed the application saying the review had been already granted by the court. The National/Pacific MiningWatch Next : Papua New Guinea's resource laws have issues: Kua
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