Papua New Guinea lashes out at Barrick for halting Porgera – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – April 28, 2020)

Papua New Guinea is threatening to take immediate control of Barrick Gold’s (TSX: ABX) (NYSE: GOLD) Porgera mine after the company’s local unit halted operations over the weekend following news that the mining lease would not be renewed.

Barrick, the world’s second largest gold miners, and its joint venture partner, China’s Zijin Mining, had applied in June 2017 for a twenty-year renewal of the mine lease, which expired in August.

Since then, the company 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 mine manager, Barrick Niugini Limited, halted operations on Saturday because it said the government had not given it any formal notification on the lease renewal rejection. It also said it had not received any detail over the imminent change of hands.

Prime Minister James Marape said in a Facebook post late on Monday that he would be “forced” to take immediate control of the mine if it remains closed during the transition period.

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