Barrick says PNG’s Porgera decision is tantamount to nationalisation – by Mariaan Webb ( – April 24, 2020)

Global miner Barrick Gold will challenge Papua New Guinea’s decision not to extend its special mining lease (SML) for the Porgera gold mine, saying the move is tantamount to nationalisation.

Prime Minister James Marape on Friday announced that Papua New Guinea had refused an application to extend mining at Porgera, citing alleged environmental and resettlement issues.

Barrick, led by president and CEO Mark Bristow, said it remained willing to discuss the matter with Marape and his government in the hope of averting what it described as a “catastrophic situation for the communities at Porgera and in Enga, and for the country as a whole”.

The mining major further said that it had no interest in discussing transitional arrangements for the management of the mine, as proposed by the government, as this was not consistent with its subsidiary, Barrick Niugini Limited’s (BNL’s) rights.

It pointed out in a statement that BNL’s right to the renewal was confirmed by the Papua New Guinea National Court in August last year.

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