Authority says regulatory framework to reopen Porgera ready


THE regulatory framework for the reopening of the Porgera gold mine is set, says Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) managing director Jerry Garry.
Garry told The National that the state negotiation team (SNT), Barrick Niugini Ltd (BNL) and Kumul Mineral Holdings Ltd (KMHL) needed to agree on various documentations to conclude the commercial arrangement.
He said there was also a new party to the agreement which was Mineral Resources Enga.
“Among many challenges, we have commenced the clan agent validation exercise and that has been successfully completed with the appointment of 24 agents,” Garry said.
“The 24 agents have been formally endorsed by the courts and late last year we conducted the elections of the Porgera landowner executives.
“That was also successful and on Dec 31, the courts has endorsed the appointment of the executives of the Porgera landowners associations. “So in as far as landowners are concerned, they are now formally and legally established and recognised for the SML (Special Mining Lease).”
Garry added that other parties, particularly the lease for mining purposes landowners, had not been formalise including those along the riverine and those along the power pylons in Hides.
“It’s going to be a mammoth task trying to get them under a single umbrella,” he said.
Garry said due to time constraints they faced the authority was dealing with the SML landowners and had the records of those who had been receiving compensation from Barrick previously and those beneficiaries would be called upon in the development forum to come forward and represent their people as interim representatives.
“We are looking at calling the development forums but again there are a few other developments,” he said.
“From a regulatory point of few, it’s pretty straight forward, we are ready to go but concurrent with the MRA regulatory process we also have the state negotiation team talking to Barrick and Kumul (Petroleum Holdings Limited) trying to come up with commercial arrangements and under the framework that they signed earlier on.
“Basically there are various steps that need to be concluded by all parties before Barrick can comfortably come back in as an operator to operate the mine.”