LOs call to reopen mine

Business

LANDOWNERS of the Porgera mine in Enga say the delay in signing the shareholder’s agreement is not in their best interest.
In a joint statement, the special mining lease (SML) and Lease for Mining Purposes (LMP) landowners said the new government should fast-track the mine’s reopening.
The request was made in light of promises made by Prime Minister James Marape and Governor Sir Peter Ipatas, to facilitate the stakeholder engagements necessary to restart the mine production.
Porgera Landowners Association chairman Mark Tony Ekepa and Lease for Mining Purposes chairman Timothy Andambo said: “The main agreement for the reopening of the Porgera mine, namely the Porgera Project Commencement Agreement (PPCA), was signed several months ago and, as landowners who are rightful owners of half of Mineral Resources Enga Ltd (MRE), we see no reason why MRE has not signed the Shareholders Agreement, the next critical step in proceeding with the restart of the mine.”
Sir Peter told The National this week that the MRE would not sign the shareholder’s agreement until the 15 per cent equity was factored in the deal.
The landowners’ statement said the Government had benefitted significantly in the new Porgera deal which represented a 51 per cent /49 per cent equity split and a 53 per cent /47 per cent economic benefit split in favour of the PNG stakeholders.
“This is a fair agreement for the future of Porgera and all its stakeholders. The project-impacted landowners, leaders and beneficiaries see no reason for the delay.
“The shareholders agreement is a flow-on agreement from the first and should not present any obstacles, and was agreed by MRE when they executed the PPCA.
“In the opinion of SML and LMP landowners, the unnecessary delays are no longer in the best interest of stakeholders (landowners, province and country) but merely grandstanding propaganda for certain people and institutions.
“We believe the delays are engineered to serve individual interests at the expense of the genuine landowners and community. We sincerely ask the new government to fast track the reopening or it will be challenging and costly to bring the mine back to production if we allow it to remain shut any longer.”

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