Tag Archives: Zijin Mining

PORGERA MINE DISPUTE UNRESOLVED

“breaches of the MOA, has caused negative impacts on the social, environmental and economic lives of the Porgera landowners”

Resource Owners Federation of Papua New Guinea Inc | 9 JULY 2018

Although the Porgera Joint Venture has recently applied for the renewal of their Special Mining Lease, a majority of the landowners whose lands are the subject of the mining lease, are maintaining a dispute for breaches of various agreements, laws and the constitution of PNG under the previous lease.

On 13th December 2013, the Porgera Special Mining Lease area landowners presented a position statement to the former Minister for Mining, Hon. Byron Chan, after Australian lawyers conducted a review in relation to the compliance of their Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) dated 12th May 1989, with the Independent State of Papua New Guinea. The statement claimed that the landowners were owed more than four billion United States dollars (US$4billion) worth of unfulfilled contractual undertakings by the State.

The position statement claimed that the breaches of the MOA, has caused negative impacts on the social, environmental and economic lives of the Porgera landowners. They claimed that in the period 1994 – 1995, the State allowed the mine to vary its original proposals for development of 1988. The 1988 proposals sought State approval and issuance of a Special Mining Lease (SML) for the mine to construct mining infrastructure that was capable of processing eight thousand tonnes of crushed ore through its mill over a mine life of twenty years. Underground mining was to cease after seven years of operations. Only five years later the State allowed what was called a “minor variation” to the approved proposals to double the processing rate to 17,000 tonnes per day. This meant that the amount of ore mined daily and the waste material produced were also doubled, resulting in the waste dumps which were originally designed to hold less materials, bursting into the river systems causing massive landslides which destroyed homes and gardens owned by the landowners. The mine failed to resettle the landowners from within the Special Mining Lease to unaffected area, even when experts found the need to do so in 1996.

The landowners claim that the State has since the lodgement of their position statement, failed to address their complaints, resulting in the landowners issuing a Notice of Dispute in April of 2015. The State has also failed to respond to the Notice of Dispute which may then force the landowners to then invoke the arbitration provisions in the MOA.

The State’s failure to respond to the legal steps being followed by the landowners pursuant to the MOA, is unbecoming of a responsible government. It is clear that State agencies are negligent of their duty to deal with the dispute in an orderly and responsible manner to ensure that the complaints are properly dealt with. The State’s continuous ignorance of the issues raised by the landowners will do nothing but increase the frustration and anger of those affected landowners which could eventually lead to the disruption of yet another resource project in the Highlands region of Papua New Guinea.

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Porgera Mine Resumes Full Operation And Power

Post Courier | 28 June 2018

Barrick (Niugini) Limited reported that Porgera gold mine in Enga Province has resumed full operations, and power has been restored to the Porgera community.

The resumption comes five months ahead of the original estimated repair schedule, following the 7.5 magnitude earthquake on 26 February this year, which caused substantial damage to the company’s power plant in Hides, Hela Province.

The plant suffered damage to both buildings and equipment, including the gas turbines, and the main control room which required extensive repairs .The mine had been operating on backup diesel generators with limited processing functions, while the Porgera community had been without power since the earthquake, except for a number of critical service providers that the mine had assisted by donating fuel and generators.

Power to the mine was restored on June 1 and the community on June 6.

The Hides power plant provides about 70 megawatt of power to the Porgera gold mine and annually about 2MW is supplied to the Porgera valley community free of charge (FOC) at an estimated cost of US$2.5 million (K8.1 million).

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Armed men threaten Porgera employees

Loop PNG | June 5, 2018

Barrick (Niugini) Limited (BNL), operator of the Porgera Mine in Enga, reports that another firearm- related incident has occurred at the Porgera Mine.

The company confirms that an armed group of intruders attempted to hold up two mineworkers driving a mine vehicle near the Porgera Open Pit on Sunday afternoon.

The mineworkers were travelling between operating sites on the Porgera Mine to move mining equipment during mid-afternoon on Sunday 3 June when they were confronted by a number of intruders, one of whom threatened the employees with a firearm.

When the mine vehicle slowed to avoid the intruders, a number of the suspects jumped onto the back of the vehicle in an attempt to steal mine equipment however, they were unsuccessful due to the quick reactions of the mine employees, who rapidly accelerated away from the area and alerted mine security personnel.

Mine management have confirmed that whilst Porgera mine employees were not injured in the incident, the confrontation was a continuation of the dangerous escalation of firearm-related incidents that have occurred at the mine in recent months.

“This is just the latest in a number of gun-related incidents that have occurred on the mining lease in recent months,” a spokesman for the mine said.

“The fact that violent criminals are prepared to come onto the mine carrying weapons and intending to rob or harm our employees and members of our neighbouring communities is of critical concern, and we are calling on State authorities to provide urgent assistance in bringing this under control.

“It is simply unacceptable that these criminals believe they can behave in this way with impunity – this escalation of violence needs to be stopped before someone is killed or injured.”

Mine management noted that they have advised the relevant authorities about the attempted robbery, and will be working closely with the police and others in responding to this latest firearm-related incident.

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Porgera still at 25% capacity

PNG Industry News | 27 April 2018

BARRICK Gold is still evaluating the impact of the February 26 earthquake at its Porgera joint venture copper-gold mine in Papua New Guinea’s Enga Province.

It has, however, kept its 2018 group guidance unchanged at 4.5-5 million ounces of gold at all-in sustaining costs of $765-$815/oz, and 385-450Mlb of copper at $2.30-$2.60/lb.

The Porgera processing plant is operating at 25% capacity and is expected to return to full production by the fourth quarter.

The Canadian-based miner produced 1.05Moz of gold in the first quarter at an all-in sustaining cost of $804/oz and 85 million pounds of copper at AISC of $2.61 per pound.

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Barrick Calls For State Intervention in Porgera

Women search for gold downstream from the Porgera mine

After more than 25 years of mining by international companies, local people are still waiting to see the promised development benefits. They are becoming increasingly frustrated and desperate…

Post Courier | April 16, 2018

Barrick (Niugini) Limited , operator of the Porgera Mine in Enga, reported that operations in the Porgera open pit were temporarily suspended last week after a violent confrontation broke out between groups of illegal miners.

The company reported that mining operations in the open pit were suspended at around midnight, after two large groups of aggressive illegal miners, including some armed with firearms, began a violent confrontation near the stage 5C area of the open pit mine.

The fighting between the groups continued until about 2:30am on Tuesday morning.

BNL executive managing director, Richmond Fenn, confirmed that while all Porgera mine employees and contractors are safe and no injuries have been reported, the confrontation was a dangerous escalation of recent violent behaviour among illegal miners, due to the use of firearms by the opposing groups.

“More than 18 shots were fired by these people over a period of about two hours,” Mr Fenn said.

“While at this stage we have not confirmed whether there have been any casualties among the illegal miners from this latest outbreak of violence, the fact that violent people are engaging in gun battles on the mine’s open pit is of critical concern, and we are calling on State authorities to provide urgent assistance in bringing this under control,” Mr Fenn said.

“It is simply unacceptable that these criminals believe they can behave in this way with impunity,” Mr Fenn said.

“Mining operations in the Open Pit have resumed, but this escalation of violence needs to be stopped before someone is killed or injured.

“We have advised the relevant authorities about the situation, and will be working closely with the police and others in responding to this latest outbreak of violence,” Mr Fenn said.

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Royalty Issue Leads To Porgera Shoot-Out

Porgera mine. Photo: wikicommons / Richard Farbellini

Jeffrey Elapa | Post Courier | April 12, 2018

The recent incident of armed illegal miners shootout with mine security guards is a result of landowner benefits, local landowner leaders from Porgera claimed.

A chief and community leader Ekale Kangalia said the recent shootout between armed illegal miners and company securities is a result of the stop on the royalty payments since 2014.

He said the cashflow in the area was sustained by the royalties from the Porgera gold mine until infighting in the Porgera Special Purpose Authority (PDA) led to the closure of the account.

Mr Kangalia said after years of frustration, the locals resorted to accessing the mine pit to venture for gold to sell and earn money to support themselves and their families.

He said the PDA directors’ infighting has forced them to go to the courts to obtain a court order to stop the royalty payments to the landowners.

Mr Kangalia claimed the PDA is a government sectioned body that comes under the Porgera Paiala Local Level Government Council and had nothing to do with the landowner royalty.

“This is unnecessary court orders when there is nothing to do with the directorship of the board of PDA. A royalty is an undisputed benefit to the landowners. Something has to be done to allow the people to benefit from their rightful benefits to put a stop to illegal mining as the only means of cash flow has been stopped by the court.

“Their only benefit is being stopped so the people have no other option but get into the mine and look for gold,” he said.

Mr Kangalia is calling on Barrick Niugini Limited and the National Government to look at ways to allow the people to receive their benefit as matter of importance.

He said the recent incident of armed conflict must not be taken lightly.

“We must know that the landowners are entering into the mine pit armed with high powered weapons to look for gold is the first time since the start of the mine. They have been supportive of the company but they can’t wait anymore so they went in to look for money,” he said.

Barrick Niugini Limited management also confirmed shutting down of the mine pit operations after the shootout with armed men.

Porgera Landowners Association chairman Tony Mark Ekepa when contacted confirmed the incident.

He said the stop payment on the royalties is now before a three-men Supreme Court.

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Damage to Hides power plant serious: Barrick

The Porgera mine

The National aka The Loggers Times | March 5, 2018

Barrick (Niugini) Ltd has reported significant damage to its mine power generation plant located at Hides in Hela in the 7.5 magnitude earthquake that struck the area last Monday.

The operator of the Porgera Mine in Enga, Barrick (Niugini), executive managing director Richmond Fenn said the power generation facility was located closer to the epicentre of the earthquake.

“While the mine itself has not been damaged, the power plant has been seriously damaged and is now offline,” Fenn said.

“Consequently, production and processing facilities at the mine were shut down.

“The mine is currently operating on power provided by backup generators located at the mine site. The open pit and underground mines remain in operation while the processing plant is shut down to allow a more detailed assessment of the situation.

“A preliminary visual assessment of the Hides facility by our maintenance teams has confirmed that potentially significant damage to gas turbines, transformers and control modules has occurred, as well as damage to buildings and other infrastructure at the plant.

“Our conclusion from this initial assessment is that resumption of electricity generation from the Hides facility may take several months to achieve.

“It will take several weeks to conduct more detailed inspections of the facility and generating equipment before a comprehensive assessment is available.

“We are still evaluating the likely impact of the event on our 2018 production targets.”

Fenn noted that the PJV (Porgera Joint Venture) management team had initiated a plan to resume limited production of gold at the mine.

“The Hides facility typically provided approximately 70MW of power to the Porgera Mine.”

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