Melisha Yafoi | Post Courier | January 7, 2020
Application for a Special Mining Lease for the Porgera gold mine is still in progress.
Mineral Resources Authority managing director Jerry Garry told the Post-Courier that the state is progressing the determination of the application which expired on August 16, 2019.
Mr Garry said during that process there will be two major streams of activities including the negotiations of the Mining development contract and recommendations from the Mining Advisory Council.
He said for the Mining development contract, the State Negotiation Team, (SNT) will recommence negotiations with the mine operators Barrick & Zinjin upon receiving directives from the NEC.
“This process will principally discuss fiscal regimes and other stability agreements in terms of taxes, royalties, equity, national content and other benefits teams,” he said.
While for the recommendations, he said this will be administered by the MRA whereby the technical and financial capabilities of the operator and compensation agreement pertaining to the extension application will be presented before special MAC for its deliberations and recommendations, either for refusal or grant to the Mining Minister & ultimately to NEC.
“We anticipate conclusion of the permitting, if, all goes well without any disruptions to the process, within first or second quarter of 2020,” he said.
Mr Garry said the permitting of Wafi-Golpu project after being halted due to a court injunction order was relieved preventing everyone from doing any work.
He said the injunction remains on foot and will SML application be dealt with only when the court injunction is resolved.
“Whenever the court injunction is relived, the MRA will formalise the remaining landowner associations along the pipeline and tailings outfall, and continue to hold development forum to develop the memorandum of agreements and compensation agreements with landowner associations, LLG and provincial government.
Concurrently, the SNT will re-open Mining Development Contract negotiations with the project development proponents, Harmony and Newcrest,” he said.
“It is anticipated that SML permitting may take 4-6 months from the date when the court injunction order is lifted.”
Mr Garry said as for the Revised Mining Act, whenever the Revised Mining Act is passed by the Parliament, the MRA will re-align itself to meet the new changes.
He said the Prime Minister has urged another consultation with the industry during the December 2019 PNG Mining Conference and the Department of Mineral Policy & Geohazard Management will be coordinating this process.