PNG's Porgera Gold Mine Closure affected over 200 contractors

The closure of Papua New Guinea's Porgera gold mine has affected over 200 local contractors, with an estimated total loss so far of nearly K200 million, according to the Porgera Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Chamber president Nickson Pakea said 176 contractors and 24 subcontractors connected to the Porgera joint venture were members of the chamber.

Pakea said the businesses lost K144 million in projected income in the past two years, or close to K200 million if including this year.

The Government made available K100 million under the Porgera business development plan, and another K200 million recently.

The amounts have not reached the business community, he said.

“We currently don’t have any reserve capital for the businesses to tap into,” he said.

“These businesses provide employment and income opportunities to locals and alleviates poverty.”

Meanwhile, an agreement was signed by Barrick Niugini Limited and the Government in April to initiate the reopening of the mine.

Kumul Minerals Holdings Ltd, the Enga government and landowners own 51 per cent of the mine.

Prime Minister James Marape earlier said: “In the old structure, State parties only had five per cent through Mineral Resources Enga (2.5 per cent Enga government and 2.5 per cent SML landowners), while 95 per cent was held by Barrick Niugini Ltd (47.5 per cent and 47.5 per cent Zijin).

“Under the new deal, the equity split is 51 per cent and 49 per cent in favour of PNG stakeholders.”

Marape said landowners could increase their equity beyond 15 per cent with the additional 10 per cent free equity paid for by Barrick Niugini Ltd.

The National / Pacific Mining Watch

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