The National aka The Loggers Times
ENGA Governor Peter Ipatas is concerned about a Chinese company buying into the Porgera gold mine.
He told Parliament yesterday that the Chinese company had bought 49.5 per cent of the Porgera mine, which was a very important asset for the country.
“The landowners have taken issue with the State and Barrick (operator) over the last few years over environment damage as well as other issues,” Ipatas said.
“We are reliably informed that this company in China does not have an impressive record.
“It’s reported that 22 people were killed and more than 500 houses destroyed as a result of the collapse of a tailings dam in China.
“Is the Government going to do anything about it in terms of trying to establish whether these companies are credible, and will be operating within the laws of this country?”
Mining Minister Byron Chan said he met with Barrick representatives yesterday who informed him of the takeover of 50 per cent of their shares by the Chinese company.
He said the credibility of the company was assessed by Barrick and was a transaction not related to Government.
“Barrick Gold has sold off 50 per cent of its shares in the Porgera joint venture,” Chan said.