Barrick CEO holds talk with PNG's Porgera Mine Landowners

 Barrick President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Bristow today held discussions with various landowner groups of the Porgera mining tenement areas (Special Mining Lease, Lease for Mining Purposes, Mining lease and Mining Easements),  Porgera Valley communities and others at Paiam Oval.  He was joined by Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, Governor of Enga Province Grand Chief Sir Peter Ipatas and Lagaip-Porgera MP and Minister for Labour and Employment Tomait Kapili.  Elements of the Framework Agreement for the New Porgera Project, which was signed in April and which provides a road map for the recommencement of operations at Porgera mine, were explained during the meeting.  

Dr Bristow said, “The Framework Agreement sets a new paradigm for arrangements between Papua New Guinea (PNG) and the world’s leading resource companies, based on a fair and equitable sharing of benefits and responsibilities.  Whether it be the State, the provincial government, the landowners or Barrick Niugini Limited (BNL), we are all stakeholders in the new Porgera and are therefore invested in its success and its ability to deliver benefits to the country and local communities through responsible mining.”

In terms of the agreement, PNG stakeholders will together own a 51% equity stake in the mine while BNL, a joint venture company in which Barrick and Zijin Mining Group each own 50%, will hold 49%.  BNL will remain the mine operator.  Over the next 20 years, the overall economic benefits derived from the mine will be shared 53% for PNG and 47% for BNL.  At the end of the first 10-year period, the PNG stakeholders will have the option to purchase BNL’s 49% equity at fair market value.

The engagement at Paiam also highlighted the need for a dialogue to take place between all landowners and the Enga Provincial Government to determine how the 10% ‘protected’ or free carried equity portion of the 51% total equity owned by PNG stakeholders will be allocated.  The dialogue will be facilitated to ensure discussions are conducted transparently and inclusively, in order to provide a sound basis for the agreement that the landowners and province ultimately reach.

Mr Bristow marked the new chapter in the mine’s history by noting that the promise of a new Porgera cannot be delivered by the company alone.  “The responsibility for ensuring the success of the new Porgera also rests on the national and provincial governments, as well as you, the landowners,” he said.  He cited challenges to be addressed, including illegal mining and other unlawful acts that not only put the lives of community members and mine employees at risk, but rob from the economic benefits that should rightly go to the people of Porgera, Enga and the nation.  “I have no doubt that, as owners and partners, we can and will work together to deliver the potential of this world-class asset for the benefit of all, starting with our friends, family and neighbours in the Porgera valley.”


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