Mr. Mark Bristow reports
BARRICK CONFIRMS CONTINUING COMMITMENT TO PNG GOVERNMENT AND PORGERA COMMUNITY
On his first visit to Papua New Guinea as the new president and chief executive officer of Barrick Gold Corp., Mark Bristow said the global mining group is committed to strengthening the company's partnership with the government and local communities, which has enabled the Porgera gold mine to deliver substantial benefits to PNG for almost 30 years.
During his four-day visit, Mr. Bristow met with Deputy Prime Minister Charles Abel and representatives of the Porgera Landowners Association, including chairman Mark Ekepa and member Dixon Pundi. Mr. Bristow also hosted a dinner for Enga Provincial Governor Peter Ipatas, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Rimbink Pato, Member of Parliament for Lagaip-Porgera, Tomait Kapili, and Member of Parliament for Wabag, Dr. Lino Tom.
Mr. Bristow discussed the importance of strengthening Porgera's partnership with the community and maintaining positive relationships with local landowners over the life of the mine. He also highlighted the mine's long-standing partnership with the state, and reaffirmed Barrick's commitment to engaging with government representatives and landowners to negotiate an extension of the Porgera special mining lease that will allow the mine to remain productive, while also delivering benefits for stakeholders over the long term.
Mr. Bristow added that Porgera is a long-term asset for both Barrick and Zijin that will require significant capital investment to sustain operations. Without the security of an extended mining lease, it would be difficult to justify further significant investments in the mine, he said.
The Porgera gold mine pays significant compensation to local landowners for the use of the land where the mine is located. The mine has also paid over Kina $3.3-billion in taxes and more than Kina $520-million in royalties to the state, making a significant contribution to the national economy by providing a long-term source of public revenue and supporting the development of critical infrastructure in Enga and surrounding provinces.
"At Barrick, we believe that our host countries must be true partners, sharing both the responsibility and the benefits that come with mining," said Mr. Bristow. "We are ready to engage with the government to breathe new life into this long-standing partnership, so that the Porgera joint venture continues to deliver benefits to all stakeholders."
Barrick and Zijin Mining Group each own a 47.5-per-cent interest in the Porgera joint venture through Barrick (Niugini) Ltd. Mineral Resources Enga owns the remaining 5-per-cent interest.
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