Porgera LOs claim $US4b from Barrick

Barrick: ‘Landowners have no rights to know who owns their minerals’

porgera

Post Courier

Barrick Niugini Limited’s intention to sell its 95% shares in the Porgera mine was a commercial decision and there was no need for landowners to know.

If Barrick only sold its shares in Porgera mine, the landowners would have been informed. However, Barrick decided to sell all its businesses in the country (PNG) including the Kainantu mine in Eastern Highlands and other exploration licenses in the country, and there was no need for the landowners in Porgera to know this commercial deal.

Barrick PJV Community Relations manager, Timothy Andembo said this during a public forum at the Porgera station last Friday, when asked by landowners why Barrick did not inform them of its intention to sell its 95% shares in the mine.

Mr Andembo said Barrick’s decision to sell off all its businesses in PNG was part of a decision to sell off all Barrick mines and assets in Asia Pacific after making losses.

He urged landowners not to make an issue of why Barrick never told them of its intention to sell its shares because Barrick was a commercial entity of its own, and the landowners had no say in the management and affairs of the company.

Landowner and Member for Lagaip-Porgera Nixon Koeka Mangape said Barrick should have informed the landowners of its intention to sell its shares in the Porgera mine.

“Barrick never told us but we found out ourselves. We are not happy so before it goes it must pay our claim of more than $US4 billion or more than K10.4 billion that we have in place at the moment,” Mr Mangape said.

He said the $US4 billion plus claim was for breach of contract agreements including Special Mining Lease landowners’ resettlement packages, Fly in Fly Out agreement projects, infrastructure including roads and bridges, social and environmental damages.

Mr Mangape on behalf of landowners from both Special Mining Lease (SML) and Lease for Mining Purposes (LMP) said the claim was genuine and if Barrick doesn’t pay, they will take it to the international arbitration.

“Enough is enough. How much it costs will not stop me. Now I have wings and the legs to fight and I will fight to the end, not through gun battle like Bougainville did but through the courts,” Mr Mangape said.

The MP said he had expert lawyers and scientists already working on the ground perusing the $US4 billion claim, and all affected landowners must work with them and give the support they need.

“This is a fight not only for Porgera but Enga and PNG as a whole because everyone will benefit,” Mr Mangape said.

He said Barrick must pay the liabilities first before it sells its shares to other investors.

Barrick did not respond to queries from the Post-Courier.

4 Comments

Filed under Financial returns, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

4 responses to “Porgera LOs claim $US4b from Barrick

  1. This is typical of the extreme arrogance of these multinational corporations. This is also typical of how they handle the getting out of the Environmental degradation they leave behind and force you to arbitration – The courts in which they own and will draw it out for years until you go broke or give up in frustration- This again is their typical raped the land – get the profits and leave the mess for some one else to clean up-
    Good Luck with your claims

  2. Moses

    Why not? However, I think 4 Billion is way way low. I should have thought it to be much higher given the environmental damage and the impact its has had on people’s livelihood with nature. With the number of years of impact and consistent damage caused even 4 Billion wouldn’t buy back the soil removed, the exposed acid releasing rocks and the everlasting environmental consequences. We cannot put a price tag of 4 billion on these now, the compensation has to be ongoing, (100 years @K120m/year seem most reasonable to me)

    • Fred Hela

      This, I think is called “level playing field”. Barrick may have highly paid lawyers using money earned from OUR gold but it’s great now to see a challenge from our own visionary leadership among the people of Porgera. We, it seems have woken up to the fact we need their kind of legal minds for this David vrs Goliath encounter. Not easy but it’s great to see a challenge for a good cause to give hope to our people. Readers here should realize, especially the big shots in Waigani, that the conditions the LOs are putting up with, are worse than refuge camps with NO schools, no water supply, no electricity, even when a mine power line is going pass them. What a total disaster, what a mess! A great shame for Engan elites who boast of their achievements when their own back yard is worse than a refuge camp..

  3. Pingback: Barrick: Compo claims have no legal merit | Papua New Guinea Mine Watch

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