Barrick Niugini says the Register of Mining Tenements records that the Head of State purportedly granted SML 11 - which covers 2135ha of land at Porgera - to Kumul on August 25 for a period of 20 years.
"Barrick Niugini considers that any such grant of SML 11 to Kumul is unlawful and invalid and we will take steps to challenge it."
Barrick Niugini says the government conducted no consultations with the Porgera landowners before the granting the SML, whether through a development forum or other consultative steps, nor was a warden's hearing conducted.
"We are unaware of any representative of Kumul Minerals who has visited Porgera to meet with landowners and other community stakeholders to discuss the SML.
"In purportedly granting an SML in this non-transparent and rushed manner, the government of Prime Minister James Marape sets a precedent of the state disenfranchising landowners and making decisions with fundamental consequences for their futures and those of their children without doing them the justice of listening to their views."
Marape said he wanted to see Porgera re-open under new operator.
"In line with the catch phrase ‘take back PNG' and Pangu's vision for ‘economic independence', Marape's stance is for PNG to have 100% ownership over the mine which has the capacity to generate $US360m a year. Imagine the economic benefits of earning $US360m year instead of 5% equity," The Sunday Bulletin reported.
"Under the watch of Marape, the days of 5% equity and being spectators are all gone. Resource laws have been changed to ensure there is equal playing field for all the stakeholders. A short-term pain for long-term benefit. Pangu Pati gave PNG political independence and is now working towards giving PNG economic independence," The Sunday Bulletin quoted Marape as saying.