Tuke to table submission on mine’s status to cabinet

Business

MINING Minister Johnson Tuke will be submitting a position paper to the National Executive Council (NEC) to assist in the decision-making on the status of the Porgera gold mine in Enga.
Tuke told the media in Port Moresby yesterday that a technical team had been conducting the assessment for nearly seven months.
“My technical team is conducting the assessment but it’s taken nearly seven months,” he said.
“I want to come up with a decision within the first quarter of this year.
“I can’t waste more time on it.
“Last year we were not really prepared but going forward, my undertaking is by the first quarter of this year, we should come up with a decision.
“In a few weeks’ time, I should take up a position paper to the Government.
Tuke said it was the prerogative of the Government to decide who to take on board for the administration of the mine.
“I will only do a submission on behalf of the ministry and that is of course in compliance with the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) Act.” Tuke said he was in Porgera last week to identify the legitimate landowners to be able to mitigate and to ensure that guidelines were followed.
He said currently there were 24 agents who were the authentic body representing Porgera landowners.
“The Enga provincial government are agents,” he said.
“They are stakeholders of the equity and royalty arrangements.
“And they watch over the imminent body to assist in the decision making of the Porgera operations.
“There are some surrounding legacy problems which we know of.
“But the common denominator is we all want a fair deal.
“The people of Porgera want a fair deal, the provincial government wants a fair deal and so does the Government.
“So we need to understand the fair deal and make sure the decisions are within the context of the law.”
Porgera is operated by Barrick Niugini Ltd, a joint venture between Barrick Gold Corporation and China’s Zijin Mining Company.

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