Yesterday, discussions were held in Port Moresby for the reopening of the mine between PNG Prime Minister James Marape and Barrick CEO Mark Bristow. Marape said he was very pleased to announce that the economic benefits of the lucrative mine would be distributed equitably. Current industry fears are focused on the government`s hard line in discussions with Exxon on the P`nyang gas project, the approval of the Wafi Golpu project in Morobe province and the slow development of the Frieda River project in Sandaun province. Recently, the state has been burned trying to pay for its participation in the LNG project (see the report of the PNG Mediators Committee) and Marape has no magic wand to do things differently in Porgera. On the other hand, a political reaction could have addressed the recent collapse in resources, but not – PNG`s EITI reports show that the two main miners, Barrick and Newcrest Mining (PGK46 million and zero corporate taxes paid between 2013 and 2017) were leaders in tax minimisation. It is very important that you take note – There are 24 spokespersons for SML landowners who are recognized spokespersons, known as SML clan agents. The 24 SML officers were identified as part of a national government-sanctioned field investigation. The culmination of the study was to identify the true landowners of SML prior to the development and operation of the mine. These 24 officers were exactly the people who signed the agreements for the development and operation of the mine. Over time, the government`s share has increased and decreased.
In what the Weekly Business Review called Porgera`s coup, the winner of the 1992 parliamentary elections, Paias Wingti, asked for 20% of the deal after claiming that the government had been deceived. After six months of turmoil, an agreement was reached to sell 15% to the government. From a peak of 25% in state hands, 5% was transferred to the provincial government of Enga and landowners, and the rest was gradually diluted by five prime ministers (Chan, Giheno, Skate, Morauta, Somare) and reached 0% in 2003, when DRD Gold, which was then operating the small Tolukuma mine, bought the last plot. A 20-year life? Let`s say $3 billion, or $6 billion? The extension was rejected due to environmental concerns and stated that the PNG government would take control of the gold mine. This is what led Barrick Niugini to take on legal challenges. The country`s prime minister, James Marape, said in a joint statement with the Toronto miner on Thursday that Barrick would donate a “significant share” of the Porgera mine to Papua New Guinea. In return, Barrick can reopen and operate the facility, which was suspended after the government did not renew its mining lease in April, and there would be a “fair sharing” of economic benefits. The court found that goB`s refusal of a mining lease resulted in the expropriation of Barrick`s lease beyond the gold mine it operated with Zijin Mining, when PNG Prime Minister James Marape refused to renew it in April of this year. In April, the PNG government said it would take control of the Porgera gold mine after refusing to renew Barrick Gold`s special mining lease. JOHN BURTON – GLENN BANKS should specify in your article where, in the PNG Constitution and in the agreements that lead to the development and operation of the mine, Barrick has the right to automatically renew and above all its lease, where it stipulates that the government should inform in advance of any announcement of the decision of the lease? Barrick CEO Mark Bristow, who met with Marape four times in 2019 to discuss the lease, reacted angrily on April 24, 2020, saying that Marape`s decision would amount to nationalization and that BNL would pursue all legal possibilities to assert its rights.