Prime Minister and Treasurer Hon. James Marape today welcomed the positive update from New Porgera Ltd (NPL) regarding the Porgera mine’s reopening. He conveyed his satisfaction with the announcement that the restart of Porgera is well underway and on schedule, with the first gold production expected in the first quarter of 2024.
Expressing his appreciation for the concerted efforts of all parties involved, Prime Minister Marape stated,
“I want to assure Papua New Guinea that Porgera mine is fully operational now, with first gold production underway.
“This announcement by NPL not only signifies a pivotal phase in the Porgera mine’s reopening but also underscores the government’s resolve to ensure fair and substantial returns from natural resources for all stakeholders involved.”
He also commended Barrick Niugini Ltd for its exemplary leadership in reinstating the operational status of the mine, adding, “The mine being operational once more is testament to the negotiations between a world super major, Barrick Gold Corporation, and the National Government under the theme of ‘Taking Back More from Our Natural Resources’.”
Prime Minister Marape reflected on the past arrangement of the Special Mining Lease (SML) 1, retired in 2020, where Papua New Guinea held a minimal stake.
He detailed the enhanced terms of the new agreement, stating, “Today, under the new arrangement, landowners and the Enga Provincial Government will have 15 per cent equity, 3 per cent royalities, and there will be no tax holidays by the mine.”
He emphasised the improved distribution of the project’s benefits, with Papua New Guinea receiving 53 per cent and investor partners 47 per cent.
Highlighting the financial implications of the project, Prime Minister Marape noted the valuation of NPL and the potential for the State’s share to be repaid within a promising timeframe, due to favorable market conditions.
He underscored the strategy for financial contribution and recovery, explaining, “The State, through Kumul Minerals Holdings Ltd, contributed no cash for equity and will repay through earnings from its share.”
Prime Minister Marape reassured landowners of the government’s dedication to inclusive and constructive dialogue, as demonstrated by the planned Landowners Consultative Forum in Wabag.
He emphasised the commitment to addressing stakeholder concerns and equitable benefit distribution, stating, “All position papers that have been received will be packaged and we will come and meet the landowners – either in late February or early March – and we will start negotiations on the split in total benefits for all stakeholders.”