The people of Porgera and Paiam Town in Enga province, have been busy for the past couple of days preparing things to welcome the prime minister and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Barrick Niugini Limited (BNL) to officially hand over the Framework Agreement to the landowners of the Porgera Mine.
The Porgera Special Mining Lease (SML) landowners in a statement said, they have been conducting community awareness following the signing of a Framework Agreement between the State and BNL in April, which paved the way for the reopening of the mine. During these community awareness activities key aspects of the Framework Agreement that impact landowners have been shared.
According to the milestone agreement, both PNG government and BNL will own and operate the Porgera mine with PNG having 51% equity and BNL having 49% equity. The mine is on track to resume operations later this year, with BNL to finance the restart.
The new deal secured an additional 1 % royalty taking SML Landowners and the Enga Provincial Governments royalties to 3%. The wider Porgera community also stands to gain with BNL paying K10.6 million annually for 10 years to Porgera Sustainable Development Fund, and a further K53.3 million upfront to the appropriate categories of Landowners.
The BNL CEO Mr. Mark Bristol, is expected to travel up to Porgera today and will later join Prime Minister James Marape to address the impacted people of the Porgera valley regarding the Framework Agreement when the Landowner Equity Forum is launched on Friday 04th June.
Meanwhile, the PM in statement said the visit to the Porgera Mine in the Lagaip-Porgera District was to talk to the affected landowners, the mine management and other mine affected communities.
He said that the government has no intention of leaving out the affected landowners and will be included in every step of the way towards reopening the mine.
“The landowners will be made known and will have a copy of the Framework Agreement before any awareness is carried out, which will include the Enga Provincial Government and their community leaders.
Marape added that after this visit, his government will set a date for a proper development forum where all benefits will be heard and consulted for benefit split.