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Papua New Guinea

Porgera LOs show support for lease renewal

More than 140 landowners of the Special Mine Lease (SML) and Lease for Mining Purpose (LMP) areas of the Porgera Mine in Enga, support the mine’s lease extension application.

The current lease is set to expire on August 17, and mine operator Barrick (Niugini) Limited (BNL) on June 29, 2017, applied to the Mineral Resources Authority, for an extension for a further 20 years – the maximum period available under the current PNG mining law.

LMP landowners and SML clan representatives from the Tieni, Tuanda, Waiwa, Angalaini, Mamai, Pulumaini, and Anga gathered this week at the Porgera station to state their support for the mine’s lease renewal application.

These SML clans have traditional land rights over some of the mine’s major operational areas that includes the Open Pit, Underground Mine, and the Anawe mill processing area.

SML landowners Paul Komai, Matthew Yapala, Panda Ekepa, Iso Kulina and Wari Ekale supported by clan agents William Gaupe, Gideon Wasa, Joe Tarale Kale, Joshua Yako, Maukele Okoko and others collectively, say they want BNL to continue to operate the mine as many had outstanding issues and agreements with the mine and therefore will support the lease renewal application by PJV.

“There are outstanding issues that have not been fully addressed and I request that the government accept PJV’s application for renewal,” said Mr Komai from the Tieni clan.

In agreement, Mr Yapala also from the Tieni clan said if another operator was to take over the mine, a lot of issues would go unresolved.

The LOs also welcomed PJV’s move to be a party to the mine agreement review process.

“In the past when the initial agreement was signed, BNL was not a party to the agreement and this time BNL wants to be party to the agreement.

“I am happy with this and therefore support the mine ‘s application for license renewal,” Mr Ekepa said.

Many said they had ongoing and outstanding issues that could be resolved through negotiation, they would rather PJV continues to operate the mine.

They acknowledged that in a district as remote as Porgera and with a current obvious lack in leadership and direction, PJV has been a government to the people, providing essential services such as electricity, health support and ensuring the highway was maintained and accessible at all times.

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