Barrick filed a lawsuit against the PNG government after it declined to renew the mine’s 20-year special mining lease
Barrick Gold has announced that it is willing to engage in talks with the Papua New Guinea over the reopening of the Porgera gold mine.
The company said that it “remains open to negotiations to find a mutually beneficial solution” for the mine, but only without preconditions.
The announcement was made by Barrick Niugini (BNL) after Prime Minister James Marape urged company to withdraw lawsuit filed against the state.
The Prime Minister said that the government intends to engage with Barrick to reopen the mine, only on a condition that the court action is withdrawn by the company.
Marape was quoted by Reuters as saying: “If they (Barrick) withdraw the court cases, we can talk commercial with them.”
Barrick filed a lawsuit against the PNG government after it declined to renew the mine’s 20-year special mining lease in April due to social and environmental pollution concerns.
Barrick placed Porgera mine on temporary care and maintenance
Following the refusal to the extension of the mine lease, the company ceased production at Porgera and placed the mine on temporary care and maintenance.
In April, Barrick, in partnership with Porgera landowners, submitted an enhanced proposal with an expected 58% in overall economic benefits to PNG, totalling nearly $4.5bn over 20 years.
The company stated that the proposal represents “the best agreement by far that PNG has ever negotiated with a foreign investor.”
Barrick and China’s Zijin Mining Group each own 47.5% of the Porgera mine, while the remaining is owned by local landowners and the Enga provincial government.
Located at an altitude of 2,200-2,600 meters in the Enga Province of PNG, the Porgera gold mine an open pit and underground gold mine.
The company stated: “BNL stands ready to work with Prime Minister Marape directly to find a resolution beneficial to all Porgera stakeholders that would enable the mine to resume operations, while sending an unmistakable message to the international community that PNG remains an attractive destination for investment.”