Don’t delay restart: Exec

Business

THERE should not be any delay in reopening of Porgera gold mine in Enga, Porgera chamber of commerce and industry president Nickson Pakea says.
Pakea said this following Enga Governor Sir Peter Ipatas’ comments to reopen the mine under a new project framework.
He commended the Enga government’s support of the commencement agreement signed in Oct 15 to restart Porgera mine.
“Porgera chamber of commerce and industry commends the Enga provincial government and provincial executive council for backing the commencement agreement signed between Barrick and the prime minister (James Marape),” he said.
Pakea said the only hold up was Mineral Resources Enga (MRE) who did not sign the commencement agreement.
He said Barrick was prepared to restart the mine with K1 billion while recruitment had started last month and the first two months of the year would be for mine maintenance.
“It’s now the first week of January and if this month is delayed, the re-opening of mine in April will be delayed to another month,” he said.
“MRE and Enga government need to work with the prime minister and Government to restore business confidence.
“The national highway to Wabag to Porgera is in a terrible state, law and order is worse and businesses interest has faded.
“Local contractors are depressed.
“Their machines and plates have been recouped by the banks.
“Our business loss and bank liabilities have exceeded the millions.”
Pakea said the reopening would restore business confidence and restore economic stability and the commencement agreement was a good indication of that.

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