Barrick Niugini says that a convoy of 15 trucks carrying third-party-owned equipment that had been leased by the mine - but was now being repatriated to its owners following the cessation of mining at Porgera earlier this year - was ordered by police at Maiap to return to the mine site on Saturday afternoon, August 1.
"The equipment being transported included drilling equipment, power generators and related power equipment owned by Aggreko Australia.
"The company notes that neither the trucks or their cargo are assets owned by either the Porgera Joint Venture or Barrick Niugini, and there is no legal basis for them to be prevented from being transported for the purpose of being returned to their owners.
"The company further notes that a court order confirming that the assets carried by the convoy could be transported from the mine for the purpose of repatriation to their owners was issued by the National Court, and that the restraint on convoy movement appeared to have been done in direct contravention of that order.
"The company calls for the convoy to be allowed to leave Porgera for the purpose of transporting the third-party-owned equipment to Lae, and will urgently raise the issue of the contravention of the court order with relevant authorities, and take all steps necessary to protect its legal rights and obligations with respect to dealing with company assets, and the assets of its business suppliers," Barrick said.
Barrick closed the mine and terminated about 2650 employees when the government of Prime Minister James Marape refused to renew the special mining lease earlier this year.