Concern over Porgera mine

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By STAFF REPORTERS
POLICE are requesting the Government to quickly resolve issues with the Porgera mine and landowners, as an escalating breakdown in law and order will lead to more criminal activities at the mine site.
People’s National Congress Party leader and former prime minister Peter O’Neill has also raised concern over the closure of the mine, after the Government refused to renew the special mining lease in April.
Mine operator Barrick Niugini Limited has been granted leave to challenge the Government’s decision in court.
Porgera police station commander Senior Sergeant Jack Kimala said people were breaking into the mine site and stealing whatever they wished to steal.
He told The National yesterday that he doubted that the situation would remain peaceful for long.
“We are managing but the issue with the mine has to be settled quickly before everything goes beyond our control,” he said.
“People used to collect leftovers of what is mined during the operations. But now that it is closed, they are breaking into the company’s premises and getting office equipment and other items.”
The Government recently sent 100 soldiers and resources to Porgera to help police.
O’Neill said the lives of workers, contractors and landowners in Porgera had been “ruined by the government’s attempt to nationalise a mine”.
“The people of Porgera, Enga and the nation are losing around K100 million each month because of (Prime Minister James) Marape’s miscalculated decision,” O’Neill said.
“While more than 2,600 PNG staff are losing their jobs, Marape, perhaps gripped by guilt over what he has done to them, went on Facebook and said the government has them covered if Barrick does not pay.
“As a global company listed on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges, there is no doubt that Barrick will adhere to the law and meet retrenchment payouts.”
No comment could be obtained from the Government yesterday but it said last month it wanted to advance the Wafi-Golpu (in Morobe) and Porgera projects, as well as other major resource developments before the third quarter of this year.
Marape assured provincial governments and landowners in the resource areas that the Government “will give you a fairer share within what the State secures from negotiations with developers”.
O’Neil said there was no plan by Marape “to replace the wages of workers, no plan to replace contracts for small businesses, and no plan to provide money for schools and healthcare that was funded by the Porgera mine for the people”.
“Marape thought he was being smart by announcing he would not renew the Porgera lease, but because of his lack of foresight, he has now ruined the lives of thousands of people who have now lost their jobs and lost small businesses.”

27 comments

  • PMJM acted upon professional advise from the Mining Advisory Council and under the ambit of the law of our country, he rejected Barrick application for SML remewable after their 30 years lease has expired.Following his announcement, he advise Barrick to continue operation during transition period for the ownership change over and takeover process to be completed. Barrick however has unlawfully failed to allow statutory process to be completed thereby leaving the workforce, contractors and other stakeholders in the current turmoil. Barrick is the cause of all these chaos at Porgera and former PM O’Neill should not blow hot air for political point scoring. It is thus opine that the Barrick (PNG) Ltd Managing Director and its board should criminally charged because they are just trying to create economic uncertainty and chaos at Porgera by going to the Court to challenge a legally rightful decision by the Marable- Steven Government.

    • K100 million is the average revenue generated from the production of Gold in Porgera in a month, that K100 million is the money being pumped back into the local economy almost every month through salary, contractors payments, compensations for landowners, taxes, tarriffs on Gold Exports and such.

  • In order to get the BEST we must be in the worst scenorial, there is no BEST without a WORST, this is the process we are going down to the worst, PMJM you are in the right direction to take this Nation back, starting with Porgera, what we see now is just temporary suffering for long term befit of Enga, & People of PNG. We salute you PM, do not listen to what the world say, listen to what Good Lord is saying for the VISION that you have for the nation is from the Lord.

  • Thanks Jeffery – your point is very clear and acknowledge. Get this Barrick Management to be held accountable for the losses. Also if our former PM can work along with PMJM to take back PNG.

  • This is just another propaganda by BNL and certain politicians to put pressure on the Marape Government for political point scoring and to expedite negotiations currently taking place behind closed doors.

    Certain corrupt senior politicians and public servants are colluding to hand over 40% to the majority Chinese owned company called Ivanhoe Mines of Canada.

  • They only break and enter into the mine site for collecting gold dust. Its only the dust left during the operation so let them take it because that is their resource. Even the mining operation is closed at the moment, through the collecting of gold dust and selling of it brings the millions of kina into Pogera Valley and cash flow in the Valley is good unlike in the past during the operation of mining. That makes the land owners from Pogera and Tari as they`re Willy brother, don`t want Barrick to re oparate the mining under the asme old agreement.

  • Oneil, is correct.
    This Government has no plan, and takes so long to make any decession, and when they do it is not in the people’s interest, I’ll conceived miss guided and reckless.

    This Government is sending PNG to the wall.

  • The information about people getting into the mine and collecting office equipment and touching equipments and machineries is totally a lie and bullshits from the PSC for Porgera if this information came out from his mouth or if it’s from the mouth of the journalist of National or from the mouth of the former PM, there are paid security personnels who are ex soldiers and policeman by Barrick on the ground to monitor these properties and taken good care of when Barrick is facing this difficult time. The APD securities are there and situation in the mine is taken control of at this time. What are you trying to tell the nation about those people on site still employed by Barrick for care and mantainence, are they sleeping up there?
    Journalist of this news should do independent research and post accordingly instead publishing blind information.

    Thank you
    APO
    Barrick Security

    • Absolutely.

      The Porgera APD is second to non.
      Porgera APD employs only EX Servicemen from the disciplinary forces of the country. Most of whom are ex PNGDF personal, Police and Correctional Services, and these are very well trained and well coordinated security operators.

      Porgera APD Team
      The A team
      With you guys at this time of uncertainty.

  • Prime Minister James Marape is imposing and adapt to faults commitment. It involves the decision and the reflection of who you are!! Breaking and stealing should not be involved in the Pogera Mines. Pogera mines should operate normal to sustain the land owners and of course the economic of the our Country PNG. Most of the workers are off from their pay and it has affected others from their sustains. please I’m appealing to the Marape Government to address these issues and put it consideration and implement it.

  • Oniel’s statement is all political. Porgera mine can not just make Barrick rich when the only landowners and the other stakeholders were being mistreated. As being a former local hire employee, I have learned that what the local employees earn on a fotnight is just a 30% of what a local employee gets from mines like MMJV, Lihir & OkTedi which means this barrick has used these local employees very much for a less money. Local employees suppose to entitle to be entitle to smart money plans that the national employees are entitled to. Local employees need to reside in camps as other mines in PNG are doing. Barrick is just terribly bad. We need barrick anymore. People like Oniel is just looking at the outside and making judgement for his political gain but PMJM knows the real thing what barrick has done. PMJM from the area and has done the correct decission. Just give him time as things will come back to normal. Terms and condition for all the employees, the landowners and the stakeholders being set are not suitable with respect to the current economic condition of PNG. Barrick deserve to go. We do not need him to operate in PNG anymore. Thank you and God bless PNG.

  • I am utterly appalled at the level of ignorance in those supporting PMJM actions. He ha totally lost the plot and destroyed the lives of thousands of people. He thought he was smart but his foolishness is there for all to see. The government is in deep shit. The government has no plans to revive the economy. They have destroyed investor confidence n lives of people. How can the government fastract other mines n projects when investors are not comfortable to spend millions, only to lose it the government after they have spent all their money. Like him or hate him, O’Neill is right

  • One thing on K100 million a month. It is just a figure being put forward by O’niel. Honestly speaking, nothing tangible is shown in the past if that is what O’niel said is true “o toktok blo toktok”. Money mipla ino lukim?????

  • K100m a month loss is nothing compared to what we stand to gain from. We’ve been brain-washed in the past that we are only good to feed- off the ‘crumps’. It’s time now we decide what we want to eat from our mother land.

    My only concern is how do we manage the windfall we stand to receive from this mine? We have a poor track record in managing money, time and other government resources.

  • this would be the second century now since POGERA MINE started its operation and the getting millions out from our Gold and nothing good was given to our poor land owners and not even single development to all five (5) poor districts in Enga provinces. I think PM James Marape is trying do something great for the people of Enga and the national as whole and yet people are barking like dog hear and there without knowing what will happen in the near future. Hope in our good Lord that He is preparing best for the last.

  • Please enough of point scoring and try to contribute meaningfully in the effort to take back PNG. If any politician is not contributing meaningfully, irrespective or which side of the government he or she is in is not from PNG, end of story.

  • let the government of the day complete their mission. Enough of criticism because we PNG don’t have the kind of Stable Political systems. If only we have the stable political system then we have the grounds to challenge.
    Year after year, we always complaining and undermining each other. Just let the government of the day complete their mission.

  • PMJM miscalculate his decision. He would have done thorough consultation and asses the situation before handing down his decisions. He assumed that what he thought would work out but his dream never played any part but a mere political point scoring decision for shot term applaud.

  • Well Done Ruth Rungula of EMTV for putting out a great news about the K8 billion Kina claim against BNL by a specific ILG LO group from Porgera. This company – BNL has manipulated the system for its gains even after the mine lease has expired. PNG government should immediately calculate the costs of damages already done purposely created by disgruntled, short sighted and selfish company executives and sue them all the way to their caves!
    To Ruth and others out there; WE NEED MANY MORE INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM to understand the seriousness/extent of damages already created/caused within the 30+ year period by BNL and its partners in crime at the expense of our country’s future generations. They must be held accountable for their actions as a publicly listed company.

    • These land owners have been taking the company to the court since the begining of times and for large sums of money, more than 8 million in the previous years.

      How are they gonna win this one with no evidence.
      Yikessssss…………… Alll the best 3

  • Short term pain for long term GAIN.
    PNG wake-up and ignore those point scoring politicians.
    Lets support the current government.

  • Things don’t happen overnight. PMJM has been in office for a year and months now and some selfish, stupid and pop cons are already drawing conclusions on PM’s plans, decisions and strategies relating to “Take back PNG” & “PNG to be the Richest Black Nation”. Can we please just allow the Marape – Steven government implement its plans and policies and then we can all contribute with ideas where necessary?. Btw Don’t forget that PNG is a developing nation with full of trial & error!!

  • Please PMJM I am one of the employees raising this concern, employees really understand what your cabinet is up to for the betterment of this nation and we are not for or against both parties (government/company) but as being employee we are severely affected for this sudden shout down with personal liabilities like loans and outstanding school fees etc…

    Barrick has gone through redundancy process where entitlements been agreed to pay out following pay period. My request is: MR PRIME MINISTER MAY YOU REQUEST IRC NOT TO DEDUCT TEXT ON THIS PAY OUT AND MUST BE TEXT FREE. Thank you

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