Barrick finalises deal to restart PNG gold mine

Porgera mine (File photo)

Barrick Gold Corp is set to restart operations at one of its biggest gold mines after inking a deal with Papua New Guinea’s government over its shuttered mine in the southwest Pacific island nation.

The world’s second-largest gold producer signed an agreement Thursday with the government and its Papua New Guinea partners to resume operations at Porgera mine, which had been suspended since 2020.

All parties are committed to reopening at “the earliest opportunity,” Barrick said in a statement without disclosing an exact date.

A project team is moving ahead to get a special mining lease and fulfill other conditions for the restart.

The mine is expected to produce an average of 700,000 ounces a year, the Toronto-based company said. Before its suspension, Porgera accounted for about  five percent of the company’s total output in 2019. Barrick aimed to restart the mine two years ago, but had been repeatedly delayed by ongoing negotiations with the government. Papua New Guinea has been seeking better deals from multinationals extracting the country’s mineral-rich resources.