The National, Thursday December 3rd, 2015
By Gedion Timothy Lapan
AS the slump in gold price plus the increase in costs affect gold miners, Barrick Niugini Limited has taken steps to remain positive.
The operator of the Progera gold mine in Enga said the past 18 months had been challenging for the company.
“To ensure the Porgera operation remains in a positive position, a number of successful initiatives have been undertaken over the past 36 months,” executive managing director Greg Walker said in an email to The National.
“The past 18 months have been very challenging for the gold industry in general, with increasing costs and slumping gold prices.
“There has been a significant reduction in profit margins to, in many cases, negative values.
“We saw the impact of this within the Papua New Guinea mining sector – redundancies at major operations and the suspension of mining at Ok Tedi, for example.
“Also the dramatic budget shortfall for the Government as a result of lower gold, copper and LNG (liquefied natural gas) prices.”
Walker said the Porgera Joint Venture had focused on improving efficiency and reducing operating costs.
“The initiatives have been wide-ranging and has seen Porgera significantly reduce operating costs, while increase operating excellence.
“We will continue to focus on training and development of our employees to increase their effectiveness in the operation.
“This along with a strong focus on safety, environmental stewardship and operational excellence will see Porgera Joint Venture continue to operate effectively.”
Barrick (Niugini) Ltd is the 95 per cent owner of the Porgera Joint Venture and is the manager of the operation.