Porgera Mine Set to Restart as PNG and Barrick Niugini Limited Agree New Partnership

April 9, 2021

The year-long standoff at the Porgera gold mine in Papua New Guinea (PNG) has ended with an agreement between the Papua New Guinea (PNG) government and Barrick Niugini Limited (BNL) that will lead to operations resuming later this year.

The two sides agreed on a partnership for its future ownership and operation.

Barrick Gold wrote in a statement that under the terms of a binding framework agreement signed by Gov. General Sir Bob Dadae and Barrick Gold Corporation President and Chief Executive Mark Bristow, ownership of Porgera will be held in a new joint venture owned 51 percent by PNG stakeholders and 49 percent by BNL. BNL remains the operator of the mine.

PNG stakeholders and BNL will share the economic benefits generated over the life of the mine on a 53/47 percent basis and BNL will finance the capital required to restart the mine.

The agreement also includes an increase in the equity allocated to a broad group of landowners who are the customary owners of the land where Porgera is located and the state will retain the right to acquire the remaining 49 percent of the mine from BNL at fair market value after 10 years.

The parties will now work toward the signing of definitive agreements at which time full mine recommencement work will begin.

Prime Minister James Marape said the framework agreement, reached after months of negotiation, was a historic development, which would benefit PNG for many years to come, and sets the precedent for future projects.

“I thank Mr. Bristow and his team for recognizing our nation’s aspirations and their willingness to partner with us in realizing this vision at Porgera,” he said.

Bristow said Barrick, on behalf of BNL’s joint venture partners Barrick and Zijin Mining, was delivering on its promise of reaching a fair agreement on the future of Porgera for the benefit of all its stakeholders, notably the local community, Enga province and the PNG government.

“We intend to partner with all key stakeholders to make Porgera a world-class, long-life gold mine,” he said.

 

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