Porgera gold mine reopening date set

Porgera mine (File photo)

Barrick Gold Corporation and the Papua New Guinea Government expect the Porgera gold mine to reopen in September, according to Barrick chief executive officer Mark Bristow.

Bristow met with Prime Minister James Marape in Port Moresby on Monday to discuss the recent progress of matters related to the reopening.

Marape said PNG welcomed Barrick’s commitment to the “long haul”.

Bristow pledged that Barrick Niugini Limited (BNL), for its part, would do everything in its power to meet the 16 September 2023, reopening date that Marape had set, and to which both parties were now working diligently towards.

A development forum will be held in the coming weeks to ensure landowners and provincial government stakeholders are consulted on the distribution of benefits from the mine.

The Government committed an additional K900 million (US$252 million) from the mine’s revenue to be given to the beneficiaries, who will be getting 53 per cent while the BNL gets a 47 percent shareholding in the New Porgera.

The Government and BNL plan to fix legacy issues such as proper resettlement, increase in land rates and compensation consistent with the law, education and health developments, infrastructure developments, and a better law and order environment in Porgera. To meet the September target, both parties are committed to attending to all the consultative forum and hearings expected to take place this month. The Porgera gold mine can easily harvest more than 500,000 ounces of gold a year which would bring millions of Kina in revenue for the country because of the current high global gold prices.