Validation of special mining leases complete, says PNG Mining Minister

 Papua New Guinea MINING Minister Johnson Tuke has indicated that the validation of 24 clans from the Special Mining Lease (SML) areas in Porgera was completed yesterday.

Tuke said all the agreements had ceased.

The first lease held by Barrick Niugini Ltd (BNL) expired on Aug 16, 2019, .

Tuke stressed that the validation exercise was important to reconfirm the different groups of clans of landowners on the periphery of the Porgera gold mine in Enga.

“Government is determined to reopen the mine.

“It has to tick off all the boxes since the first SML has expired,” Tuke said yesterday.

Department of Mineral Policy and Geohazard Management secretary Harry Kore said clan agents would then appoint their executives to a landowner association.

Kore stressed the importance of landowner identification and the state knowing which group to deal with concerning the project.

Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) managing director Jerry Garry noted that the mine’s landowners in the past received compensations.

Garry said under the new Porgera deal, landowners would receive a portion of the royalty and equity.

Prime Minister James Marape expressed satisfaction at the progress of confirmation of clan agents of the Porgera Landowners Association (PLOA).

He said the confirmation of the clan agents was the first step towards reorganising the PLOA, an important party to the Mining Development Forum.

“The state negotiating team is working hard to meet the required timeframe to ensure that the mine is reopened in September.

“Indeed, a mine reopening plan has been discussed by Barrick, the operator of the new joint venture, and while parts of the milestones proposed are slightly delayed, we believe it is still possible to achieve our timetable,” he said.

Meanwhile, Marape this week warned illegal miners to stay out of the Porgera mine.

The National / Pacific Mining Watch

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