Porgera community eager to sign mine deal


BUSINESSES and residents of Porgera in Enga are looking forward to the signing of the Porgera shareholders agreement expected soon, an official says.
Porgera Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Nickson Pakea said businesses were operating with uncertainty and the signing of the agreement would assure them of a positive outlook.
The multi-billion kina Porgera gold mine closed in April 2020 when the government refused to renew the special mining lease held by developer Barrick Niugini Ltd (BNL).
“We the businesses and residents of Porgera are looking forward the shareholders agreement signing,” Pakea said.
Pakea added that the district had also been affected by recent clashes between landowning clans and other opportunists were taking advantage of the law and order issues in the district.
“People with guns are taking advantage of the mine remaining idle especially the sage mill and open pit gold deposit areas. Guns are coming into the valley,” he said.
“The withholding of the signing of shareholders agreement by Mineral Resources Enga (MRE) will mean more deaths and stress on lives here.
“Thus the signing off on the shareholder agreement will not just assure businesses and Barrick but also to the people of Porgera.”
The Porgera Shareholders Agreement is expected soon with the state working closely with MRE and other stakeholders to finalise details, according to the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA).
MRA managing director Jerry Garry said MRE had refused to sign off on the agreement earlier due to various issues which had halted progress towards the restart of the multi-billion mine in Enga.
This is a key agreement that must to be signed in-order for a new project company for Porgera and the registration of interest for the exploration license, special mining lease and other supporting tenements.