Radio New Zealand | 28 June 2019
A landowning group at the site of the Porgera mine in Papua New Guinea’s Enga Province says negotiations with the owner Barrick have broken down.
The Canadian company is pushing to renew its contract in August for another 20 year period.
The company has said it had met with senior landowners to discuss their issues.
But the Justice Foundation for Porgera Ltd, which said it represented the bulk of local landowners, said without their commitment any agreement would be worthless.
It said Barrick needed to come to it to negotiate the necessary protocols.
The mine is currently the subject of a multi-billion-dollar lawsuit for damages caused over its 30-year life and PNG’s Prime Minister James Marape has recently committed to ensuring PNG citizens have greater control over their resource wealth.
The contract renewal comes amid unresolved allegations of rape, sexual assault, drownings and shootings at the mine site.
Justice Foundation for Porgera chair Jonathan Paraia said: “Barrick knows full well the vast majority of landowners are sick to death of the human rights abuses, the environmental destruction, the hollow promises”.
He said they were highly offended at the lack of respect Barrick’s CEO has shown towards them while trying to engage them in a significant international mining contract with a 20-year life.