Bristow: Sign agreement


CARE and maintenance costs of Enga’s Porgera gold mine will reach US$580 million (about K2.03 billion) if it’s reopening is not ramped up to January, Barrick Niugini Limited president and chief executive officer Mark Bristow says.
He said what the miner needed was the shareholder’s agreement signed.
Bristow, who was in the country last week for three-day visit, said there were positive indications from the state and stakeholders to reopen the mine as soon as possible.
“We have already spent US$338 million (about K1.18 billion) holding the place, if we delay the start up to January it’s going to be US$580 million (about K2.03 billion),” he said.
“This delays everyone’s benefits going forward.
“All we need is for a shareholder’s agreement to be signed so we can create a new company, new Porgera and then you can apply for the mining lease.
“Key is we are going to employ 2,000 people.”
Bristow met with 50 landowners representing areas affected by the special mining lease (SML), lease for mining purpose (LMP), Porgera Landowners Association (PLOA) and Mineral Resources Enga Limited (MRE) in Porgera on Thursday.
He reaffirmed BNL’s commitment to restart the mine ensuring that project-impacted landowners would reap the benefits agreed to in the Porgera project commencement agreement (PPCA).
“The Porgera project commencement agreement allows for a wide range of benefits to project-impacted landowners never seen by any other mining project in Papua New Guinea or globally.
The immediate requirement is the signing of the shareholders agreement by Mineral Resource Enga, and agreement to the equity split at the development forum,” he said.
PLOA chairman Mark Tony Ekepa said his association’s stance was to have the 10 per cent protected equity parked in a separate entity established by the SML landowners, and not in Mineral Resources Enga.
“Ekepa added his support for BNL’s proposal to have the equity split confirmed at the development forum for 7.5 per cent to SML landowners and 2.5 per cent LMP beneficiaries.
Newly elected LMP association president, Timothy Andambo, said LMP landowners were grateful to have finally been recognised as falling within the impacted group (as defined in the PPCA) that would now hold (2.5 per cent) equity in the project. The project-impacted landowner representatives thanked Bristow and the Barrick executive for visiting Porgera at this critical time when Porgera was seeing an unprecedented violence in the community.
Bristow said he was disappointed and gravely concerned with the security situation on the ground saying it was worse than the conflict zone he was at in South Africa.
He also met with Prime Minister James Marape.