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Barrick Gold progressing Porgera mine negotiations in PNG

Barrick and Chinese partner Zijin Mining, ready to sign deal with Papua New Guinea prime minister James Marape to reopen the Porgera gold mine

|Apr 6|magazine4 min read

Barrick Gold’s Porgera operation has been closed for a year following a dispute with the Papa New Guinea government which saw its mining licence, issued with Chinese partner Zijin Mining, fail to be renewed.

Papua New Guinea

Barrick notes the statement released by Papua New Guinea prime minister James Marape announcing an imminent agreement to reopen Porgera mine.

“Barrick and the Government of Papua New Guinea have continued to hold constructive discussions on a framework agreement for the recommissioning of Porgera, which has been on care and maintenance since April 2020.”

The agreement under discussion is in line with the principles announced in October, providing for a joint venture between Barrick Niugini Limited (BNL) and the government of PNG to operate Porgera going forward on the basis of increased PNG ownership and a fair sharing of economic benefits. 

BNL would continue as the operator of the mine. We remain hopeful that we will reach agreement with the PNG Government on a long-term partnership that will see the reopening of Porgera in the near future.

Barrick's CEO Mark Bristow commented in the company's annual report in March: “T his has been a long and difficult negotiation, but I am optimistic that we will reach an agreement and get the mine reopened this year."

Barrick said BNL would continue as the operator of the mine, adding it would issue a further statement once a final agreement is achieved.

Porgera

Porgera is an open pit and underground gold mine in the Enga province of Papua New Guinea, around 600 kilometres (370 miles) northwest of Port Moresby. The mine produced 600,000 ounces of gold in 2019 before being put on care and maintenance. Barrick and Zijin both own 47.5% of Porgera, with the remaining 5% held by the Enga provincial government and landowners.

Reserves & Resources

  • Proven & Probabale Gold Reserves - 2.4 million ounces
  • Measured & Indicated Gold Reserves (inclusive of Reserves) - 3.9 million ounces 
  • Inferred Gold Resources - 1.1 million ounces

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Porgera technical report
Mining Global magazine