With the successful signing of the stakeholder agreements, the Porgera Mine has been given the go-ahead to reopen.

Mark Bristow, the president and chief executive officer of Barrick Niugini Ltd (BNL), said that the cost of reopening and restarting the mine is around US$300 million (K1.05 billion).

Dairi Vele, the chairman of the State negotiation team, said that this would require around 3100 people, most of the Papua New Guineans, to return to the mine and start extracting the gold.

He said, “We are hoping that they can announce that the first gold has been processed during June, July, and August,”

According to Mr Vele, the signing of the agreements marked the reopening of the Porgera project.

“The main one is the shareholders’ agreement, that is, the coming together to build the company. That’s not for the Government. That’s for Kumul Minerals Holdings Ltd (KMHL), the landowners and Barrick,” he said.

“The company is born today – it is the beginning of the mine. Kumul will own the company with 36 per cent, landowners 15 per cent, and Barrick 49 per cent.”

However, it should be noted that the PNG government will receive 53% of the advantages, while Barrick will get 47%.

Dr John Kuwimb, the KMHL managing director, said that of the 51% government share, Kumul Minerals have 36%, with the remaining 15% going to landowners and the Enga Government. He added that the State and Barrick would each have four directors.

He said, “We will work to run Porgera, and this company that we are incorporating will appoint Barrick as the operator.”

Image caption: A new shareholders’ agreement has been signed by Barrick Niugini Limited (BNL) and the State of Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) nominee, Kumul Mineral (Porgera) Limited. Source: Porgera Joint Venture