Papua New Guinea is set to take control of Barrick Gold’s (TSX: ABX) (NYSE: GOLD) Porgera mine after refusing to extend the company’s lease on environmental and social grounds, Prime Minister James Marape said on Friday.
“In the best interests of the state, especially in lieu of the environmental damages, claims and resettlements issues, the Special Mining Lease will not be renewed,” Marape said.
The decision comes nine months after the mining lease expired. During that time, the world’s second largest gold miner has faced backlash from landowners and residents over what they claim are negative social, environmental and economic impacts from the mine.
Negotiations with Porgera’s operators were complicated further by a split among the landowners.
The manager of Porgera, Barrick Niugini Limited, applied for a permit extension in June 2017 that would have renewed its rights for 20 years and had been engaging with the government on the matter since then, Barrick said in the statement.
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