PORGERA GOLD MINE
LODGEMENT OF SPECIAL MINING LEASE APPLICATION
HON.SIR ANO PALA KBE CMG ISO, MP
Minister for Mining
13th June 2023
I am very delighted to be here, at the invitation of the New Porgera Limited, to witness another significant achievement on our progressive milestone calendar, which brings us closer to the re-opening of Porgera gold mine.
The occasion today, is the official lodgement of the Special Mining Lease (SML) Application, SML 1 lA and associated Proposal for Development.
This occasion marks a very special and important step in the regulatory process of reviving the Old Porgera Mine under the new Por.iera Project Commencement
Agreement or PPCA.
Under the PPCA, it was agreed that the underlying EL454 held by Barrick Niugini Limited (BNL) & Mineral Resources Enga (MRE) had to be transferred to New Porgera Limited, (NPL). Thence, the transfer of SML 11 from Kumul Minerals Holdings Limited (K1v1HL) to NPL. These tenements were successfully transferred to NPL on 22 May 2023.
Last Friday, 9th of June 2023, the Board of Directors for NPL opted to surrender SML 11 and apply for a new SML. As a consequence, NPL is submitting its application for a new SML today.
Ever since the closure of old Porgera mine three years ago, after the State refused the extension application by Porgera Joint Venture (PJV), there were insurmountable disagreements and legal battles.
However, under the leadership and guidance of the Prime Minister, Hon. James Marape, he garnered the support of various parties to enter into negotiations. After lengthy renegotiations, the parties agreed to shelve all legal proceedings and agree to a re-commencement pathway, by way of signing various agreements.
This occasion would not be possible, without first, the parties in this new Porgera arrangement, enter into a binding agreement called the Porgera Project Commencement Agreement. The PPCA chartered the way forward for the new Porgera arrangement.
May I take this opportunity, to thank the parties involved in the PPCA which include; Barrick Niugini Ltd, Zijin Mining Group, the Landowners, Kumul Minerals Holdings Limited, New Porgera Limited and the State, for burying your differences and putting your heads together to arrive at this occasion, which will see the beginning of a new era at the Porgera Gold Mine.
This occasion, the lodgement of the new Porgera SML application and the supporting tenements applications, commences the permitting process for which I now, ask my regulator, the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) to fast track this process so that within the next three months we can see the new Porgera mine up and running, to bring in the much-needed services and benefits to the concerned parties and the affected people.
I reiterate the importance of this project to the State and the intent of the Government in seeing this Porgera Gold Mine start producing gold again as soon as possible.
Once again thank you all that have made this occasion possible. My profound gratitude to Board, Management and Shareholders of Barrick Niugini Ltd and your partners Zijin Mining Group, thank you Kumul Minerals Holdings Ltd and thank you New Porgera Limited.
On behalf of the Government, I would also take this opportunity to thank those behind the scenes that contributed immensely towards making this occasion became a reality; thank you Attorney General, the State Solicitor, the State Negotiation Team and thank you the regulators, the MRA and DMPGM.
Thank you all and you all have a blessed day.