Decision over firm’s lease goes to trial

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A TRIAL concerning the decision of the Government which refused to renew the special mining lease (SML) to Barrick Niugini Ltd (BNL), the operator of the Porgera mine in Enga, has been stayed by the Supreme Court.
Justice David Cannings, presiding as a single Supreme Court judge on Wednesday, made the order after he granted leave to BNL to appeal a National Court decision delivered by Deputy Chief Justice Ambeng Kandakasi.
BNL had appealed the decision by Justice Kandakasi who refused an application by BNL to add a new ground to its substantive review.
The ground was that BNL claimed that the head of state acting in ultra-vires in its decision to refuse the SML.
BNL claimed that the wordings of the National Executive Committee (NEC) decision did not correspond to the gazettal notice issued by the head of state.
BNL submitted that Justice Kandakasi, when refusing the leave to amend the motion, acted ultra vires in his decision of July 13 at the National Court.
But Justice Cannings found that there was a material difference on that note, despite Justice Kandakasi ruling that the issue on the wordings could be taken care of by the State.
BNL through its lawyer also asked the court to grant a blanket stay over the National Court proceedings regarding the review, however, states with its authorities argued that a stay on entire proceedings would affect the care and maintenance plan and restraining orders regarding removal of assets.
NEC lawyer argued that if the National Court proceedings was stayed, it would affect the people of Enga and the restraining order that prevented removal of assets from the mine since some of the assets like power generators were critical to care and maintenance plan.
Due to the overwhelming issues surrounding the National Court proceedings, Justice Cannings decided to stay only the trial which was scheduled next week – from Wednesday to Friday.
The State argued that BNL would only remove assets which it claimed third party as assets unless it provide a list of all assets, including non-infrastructural assets and confirmation of lease contracts third parties had made with BNL.
It is understood that once the SML expires, the mine is in custody of the State.

8 comments

  • BNL, is a illegal miner, we believe the is up, this 2020 is a mature time to take over, this a good news for the Province & the nation, no matter what it cost, we stand together united, that BNL must leave.

  • We have a vibrant, innovative, visionary leader (PMJM) who are has the vision for the current and future Generation of this Blessed Nation for our common good in perspective.
    May God Bless You as you lead our Nation Moving Forward.
    I prayed for our Prime Minister this Morning

  • Barrick’s time is up and come to an end, so pack your machinery and go.No need for court cases.When license is expired then what else do you want. just pack up and go.You have nothing to worry about.

  • The warlords of porgera valley will eat each other alive for the gold in the ground up there..

    Hopefully they understand that if they become violently engaged in tribal warfare the western world will declare it blood gold and make it illegal to buy..

    A very similar situation to blood diamonds in Africa.

    Barrick will never let a small boy take the cake..

    As the cash runs dry the nationalist government will crumble..

    But there is another way! Use the gold to make a new currency in PNG that incorporates a small wire of gold woven into the note..

    Making the note worth it’s weight in gold!

    This will cause rapid investment into PNG.

    Checkmate.

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