PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Canadian gold major Barrick Gold has called for a partnership approach at its Porgera gold mine, in Papua New Guinea (PNG), after a meeting with newly elected Prime Minister James Marape.
Barrick president and CEO Mark Bristow on Friday concluded his second meeting with Marape, confirming the need for a partnership approach at Porgera, with Bristow telling shareholders that Marape’s view that PNG should receive a better share of benefits was in line with the company’s own commitments.
“The people of PNG have a right to benefit from these resources and the government is their steward. The mining companies invest the capital and provide the expertise that makes profitable resource development possible.
“This common cause calls for a productive, mutually rewarding partnership between the miners and their hosts. Barrick has successfully established and maintained such relationships at its operations worldwide,” Bristow said.
Porgera˙s special mining lease expires this month and the government is currently considering an application for a 20-year extension by its operator, Barrick Niugini, a joint venture (JV) between Barrick and China’s Zijin Mining Group.
“I am confident that we shall be able to reach a broad agreement on the terms of the lease extension, and that we shall develop the kind of partnership that will ensure that Porgera continues to benefit the country and community for many years to come,” Bristow said.
He pointed out that Porgera was one of the largest mines in PNG and had been a key driver in its regional, provincial and national economies for the past 30 years, and in that time had paid $1.27-billion in taxes and royalties to the government and had contributed, on average, approximately 10% of the country’s annual export income.
Porgera is one of the largest employers in the country, with more than 3 100 full-time PNG employees, 1 000 of them recruited in the Porgera region.