SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): Barrick Gold hinted at restart of operations at Porgera open pit gold mine in Papua New Guinea later this year. The announcement follows the recent discussion held by Barrick chief executive Mark Bristow, Papua New Guinea prime minister James Marape, various Porgera Landowners groups and others.
The parties reached a framework agreement, by which the mine will be owned by a new joint venture, which will be 51% held by Papua New Guinea (PNG) stakeholders and 49% held by Barrick Niugini Limited (BNL). BNL will continue as the mine operator. The agreement also calls for a dialogue between the Porgera Landowners and the Enga Province to determine allocation of the 10% ‘protected equity’.
Bristow noted that the implementation details of the agreement are yet to be finalized. However, if all parties work together uninterrupted, it may be possible to restart the mine later this year. The road to reopening is long and not easy, but the company is committed to play its part, Bristow added.
The country’s government had refused to renew the Porgera mine license, following Barrick and its Chinese partner Zijin Mining’s dispute with it. The authorities cited environmental issues to deny the permit, following which operations were temporarily halted.