Tag Archives: Zijin Mining

PNG demands Wafi-Golpu gold stays in-country, urges Newcrest, Harmony talks

Jonathan Barrett | Reuters | September 13, 2019

  • Papua New Guinea to offer duties, taxes concessions in exchange
  • *PNG govt wants to extract more wealth from its resources

Papua New Guinea wants to keep 40% of gold produced from the proposed Wafi-Golpu project, the country’s commerce minister said, creating a potential hurdle to an agreement with co-owners Newcrest Mining and Harmony Gold.

The miners had been hoping to secure a mining lease over the major gold and copper deposit earlier this year, before a change in PNG’s leadership and a shift in minerals policy led to delays.

“We’d like to see Newcrest come to the negotiating table on this,” PNG’s Minister for Commerce and Industry Wera Mori told Reuters in a phone interview late on Thursday.

“They get 60% of the production, we get 40%. If they don’t like it we’ll mine it ourselves – we own the resources.”

Mori said that the government could offer concessions on duties and taxes as part of the negotiations and he said he was confident a deal would be struck.

Newcrest and Harmony each own 50% of Wafi-Golpu, while the PNG government has the right to purchase an equity interest.

The companies were not immediately available to comment. Attempts to reach PNG’s mining minister were unsuccessful.

Located near the port city of Lae, the project is forecast to hit an annual production peak in 2025 of 320,000 ounces of gold and 150,000 tonnes of copper, according to the project website.

The proposed policy changes are part of a push by the South Pacific archipelago to transform its mineral-rich economy amid a perceived lack of benefits flowing from resources projects back to communities.

PNG is also negotiating to take a bigger share of the Porgera gold mine as part of lease-renewal talks with joint venture partners Barrick Gold Corp and Zijin Mining Group.

It has also sought concessions from French giant Total SA over a $13 billion plan to expand gas exports.

The Wafi-Golpu gold would be processed in-country, creating a downstream industry for PNG, Mori said.

Mori told Reuters that PNG wanted to build up its gold bullion reserves, acting as a peg for its kina currency.

PNG’s central bank currently fixes its currency to a narrow U.S. dollar band, propping up the kina’s value while creating a shortage of dollars available in the Pacific nation.

“When the stock market crashes we lose value,” he said.

“But if the stock market crashes and we have gold, the gold price goes up.”

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International Environmentalist to Conduct Assessment on PNG’s Porgera Gold Mine

Mining pollution turns Papua New Guinea’s Pongema River red. Photo: Red Water report

Where has the Department of Conservation (now CEPA) been for the last twenty-five years? Has it ever assessed the environmental damage caused by Barrick Gold?

Papua New Guinea Today | August 22, 2019

Papua New Guinea will engage an International Environmentalist to assess environmental damages done to local communities around the Porgera mine site in the Enga Province.

Grievances on Environmental damage is one of the many issues raised by landowners.

Papua New Guinea Mining Minister Johnson Tuke said they will take on board an accredited Environmentalist to study the impact of damage.

Minister Tuke said this is one of the serious legacies that must be seriously looked into as the damage has affected many communities.

Early this month, Barrick Gold Corporation President and Chief Executive Mark Bristow said K800, 000, for compensation for environmental damage was paid to a landowner group but stuck because of disputes between members of the same clan.

Mineral Resources Authority Managing Director Jerry Garry said the issue and others must be addressed and not dragged into the new life of the mine.

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PNG puts Barrick, Zijin on notice over Porgera gold mine negotiations

Communities living around Papua New Guinea’s Porgera gold mine lack enough access to clean water to meet their basic needs. Photo: Columbia University

Government stake in Porgera mine won’t solve the appalling human rights and environmental abuses.

Jonathan Barrett and Mell Chun | Reuters | August 19, 2019

Papua New Guinea plans to take a larger share of the Porgera gold mine as part of lease-renewal talks, diluting the ownership of joint venture partners Barrick Gold Corp and Zijin Mining Group, the country’s commerce minister told Reuters on Monday.

The planned changes are part of a push by the South Pacific archipelago to transform its economy under new government leadership amid a perceived lack of benefits flowing from resources projects back to communities.

Porgera, located in PNG’s northern highlands region, is expected to produce 240,000 to 260,000 ounces of gold this year. Barrick and Zijin each own 47.5% of the mine, with the remaining 5% held by landowner group, Mineral Resources Enga.

PNG’s Minister for Commerce and Industry, Wera Mori, said a portion of Barrick and Zijin’s stakes would be given to the national and provincial governments and to landowners.

“We would like to see the mine to continue, but this time to be structured in such a way with a lot more national interest in it,” Mori told Reuters in an interview in Sydney.

The final figure to be held by Barrick and Zijin would be determined during on-going negotiations over a requested 20-year extension to the lease, he said.

“It will decrease correspondingly, like if the state picks up say 30% or 40%,” said Mori.

Barrick and Zijin were not immediately available for comment. In early August, Barrick Chief Executive Mark Bristow said in a statement that there needed to be a “partnership approach” over the future of the mine.

The Porgera lease recently expired, although the operators are allowed to keep producing during lease-renewal negotiations.

Papua New Guinea land-owners have raised concerns over what they say are negative social, environmental and economic impacts from the mine. Negotiations with the project operators have been complicated by a split among the landowners.

GOLD RUSH

PNG was the world’s 14th largest gold producer in 2018, according to the World Gold Council.

Mori, who was standing in for PNG’s new prime minister, James Marape, at an investor forum in Sydney, said the resources-rich nation was developing policies to keep more of the commodities it produces to improve its economy.

“We are in the process of developing the framework to retain at least 30% of our gold that we export every year,” Mori told the forum early on Monday.

Proposed changes to the country’s mining laws are expected to be presented to PNG’s parliament in the coming weeks, capturing all new projects.

Mori said that PNG would also consider pegging its currency, the kina, to gold, rather than the U.S. dollar.

PNG’s central bank currently fixes its currency to a narrow U.S. dollar band, propping up the kina’s value while creating a shortage of dollars available in the Pacific nation.

Marape, the former finance minister who became PNG’s new leader in May after winning a vote in parliament, has put some of the world’s biggest resources companies on notice over how profits are shared from the country’s resource riches.

He said he wanted to turn PNG into the “richest black nation” on earth over the next decade.

This includes sending a team to renegotiate its Papua LNG agreement with French oil major Total SA.

Gerea Aopi, PNG country director at Papua LNG partner Oil Search, told the forum that the sector required certainty.

“I think the industries both in oil and gas and mining have indicated that we don’t object to the changes that are going to take place as long as there’s proper consultation,” Aopi said.

The Total-led Papua LNG, which also includes Exxon Mobil Corp, is part of a $13 billion project set to double the country’s exports of LNG.

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PNG aims to retain 30% of exported gold, may change currency pegs

Jonathan Barrett | Reuters | 19 August 2019

Papua New Guinea wants to retain at least 30% of the gold it currently exports as it transforms its economy under a new government leadership, the country’s commerce minister said on Monday.

PNG was the world’s 14th largest gold producer in 2018, according to the World Gold Council. Its assets include the Porgera gold mine, majority controlled by a joint venture between Barrick Gold Corp and Zijin Mining Group , which has a lease currently up for renewal.

PNG’s Minister for Commerce and Industry Wera Mori told an investor forum in Sydney that the resources-rich nation was developing policies to keep more of the commodities it produces in the country to improve its economy.

“We are in the process of developing the framework to retain at least 30% of our gold that we export every year,” Mori told an investment forum in Sydney.

Mori said that PNG would also consider pegging its currency, the kina, to gold, rather than the U.S. dollar.

PNG’s central bank currently fixes its currency to a narrow U.S. dollar band, propping up the kina’s value while creating a shortage of dollars available in the Pacific nation.

James Marape, the former finance minister who became PNG’s new leader in May after winning a vote in parliament, has put some of the world’s biggest resources companies on notice over a perceived lack of wealth flowing from their projects back to communities.

This includes sending a team to renegotiate its Papua LNG agreement with French oil major Total SA.

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Leader Speaks His Mind On Porgera Mine

Communities living around Papua New Guinea’s Porgera gold mine lack enough access to clean water to meet their basic needs. Photo: Columbia University

Post Courier | August 5, 2019

The landowners of Porgera mine have given up their mountains and land to mine developers. This is with the thought that they will be partakers and beneficiaries. But after 30 years they still haven’t benefited from it.

These are the words of Nixon Mangape who is a signatory of the 24 landowner agents that signed the MOA in 1989.

“We have given our mountains to the developer to mine gold which we thought that the government will benfifit from the taxes collected from the developer, as well as the national and provincial government but us the landowners will receive the maximum benefit,” he said.

“That was our initial thought when we signed the agreement in good faith but in so many years the developer haven’t given us any contract.”

Mr Mangape said that he represented Tiene Wape clan.

“Out of the 23 landowners that were party to the signing of the MOA in 1989, I am the 24th person who signed the agreement,” he said.

“I have not benefited from the mine and even my clan have not benefitted.

“That applies to all 24. We were not given contracts.”

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Barrick allowed to continue Porgera mine while lease extension considered

Reuters | 3 August 2019

Barrick Gold Corp said on Friday the National Court of Papua New Guinea had ruled that the miner could continue to operate the Porgera gold mine, while the country’s government considers an application to extend the lease for the mine.

The government is looking into an application by Barrick Niugini Ltd, a joint venture between Barrick and China’s Zijin Mining Group, for a 20-year extension on Porgera’s special mining lease that expires on August 16, the company had said.

Papua New Guinea’s recently elected Prime Minister James Marape has pledged to “tweak and turn” laws governing how natural resources are extracted to help lift the South Pacific country out of poverty.

“I am confident that we shall be able to reach a broad agreement on the terms of the lease extension,” Barrick’s Chief Executive Officer Mark Bristow said in Thursday’s statement.

In June, PM Marape said major reforms to earn more taxes from the country’s natural resources would not take effect for years, but the country’s treasurer put Total SA, Exxon Mobil Corp, Newcrest Mining and their partners on notice that it wants to get more benefits from their gas and mining projects.

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LOs Call For Unity On Mine License Renewal

Post Courier | July 26, 2019

Leaders and landowners of the Porgera Gold mine in Enga want Prime Minister James Marape to visit the mining district to get views of mine communities before the mine’s lease agreement expires next month.

They are also calling on the various landowner factions operating outside Porgera to return and consult with the people on the ground so a collective and proper position paper, representing the interests of the people can be presented to the national government.

Landowners of the Porgera special mine lease (SML), lease for mining purpose (LMP) and mining easement communities aired their concerns in Porgera last week.

They included chairman of the Ipili Porgera Investment (IPI) group of companies, Jolson Kutato, President of the Porgera women in business (WiB), Elizabeth larume, president of the Porgera Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) Nickson Pakea, former president of the Porgera LLG and former deputy governor of Enga, John Pawe, SML leaders William Gaupe, George Yope and Mathew Yapala, Paiam ward member Perale Kana, SML councilor Sukul Tupia, Porgera District Women’s Association leader Wanoli Waiyape and SML landowner Arnold Kulina.

The landowners have called on the Prime Minister not to entertain any landowner faction groups operating from Port Moresby but to go to Porgera and directly consult with mine landowners.

“We are here and our position will be addressed here in Pogera and the government will receive our position paper in Porgera.

“Ongoing in fighting by landowner faction groups is causing confusion amongst the genuine landowners so the Pogera Landowners Association (PLOA) and Porgera Jus-tice Foundation need to sit down , iron out differences and properly discuss issues relating to the mine review with the Pogera people,” Mr Pawe said.

Mr Kutato who led the 1999 mine negotiations then as chairman of the landowner association said there are a lot of side issues the landowners need to fix before the mine lease expires.

He said landowners must take the review process very seriously if they are concerned about the future of their children because this will be the only time to renegotiate long-term benefits but nothing will be achieved if there is still division.

“The Prime Minister must listen to the concerns of the people and come to Porgera because the landowners and leaders are here.
We will formulate our position paper as united landowners to go into agreement with the government and developer and this has to be in Porgera,” Mr Kutato said.

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