Porgera Mine Shutdown has cost PNG over K10 billion, PM Marape blames Landowners

 Statement by Hon Peter O'Neill 

In April 2020, Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape shocked the nation when he denied the extension of the Special Mining Lease and cancelled the operations of Porgera gold mine in Enga Province.

“The shutdown was part of James Marape’s “Take Back PNG” campaign but so far there are no winners in this shamble of a negotiation for a better deal”, said Party Leader for PNC, Mr. Peter O’Neill. 

“Marape has now placed the blame on landowners for the mess he created.”

“For over two years we have lost:

• over K10 billion in economic returns; 

• 2,500 direct jobs; 

• Hundreds of SMEs out of business; and

• Enga Provincial Government unable to fund the Province budget. 

“James Marape and his Pangu Pati have the audacity this week to blame the Landowners who he says are holding out for a better deal. It is bad enough he made the decision to close the mine but now shameful that he would blame the lack of action on the landowners, the very people he claimed to be helping,” continued Mr. O’Neill.

“Government is not easy. Tough decisions must be taken every day, and no one can get it right all of the time, but to shutdown one of our largest earners and employers at a time when gold prices were at their highest and Government spending on COVID was out of control – well it was pure madness.”

“Now instead of owning his decision that has cost PNG over K10 billion, he blames it on landowners. Ok Tedi was transferred back to the people of Western Province and PNG without one day of loss of income or operations. It takes care and concern and a lot less ego to work for what is in the best interests of our Budget and country rather than what is in it for oneself.”

“The Prime Minister should retract his blame of Porgera landowners and focus on what he can do to get the mine back up and running. We have lost over two years and time is ticking,” concluded Member for Ialibu-Pangia.


Next : PNG PM Marape in Enga Province for Porgera Mine talks

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