Business welcomes Barrick's return

BUSINESSES have welcomed the announcement to reopen the Porgera gold mine in Enga Province as it would kick-start commercial activity and bring in the much-needed foreign exchange.
Business welcomes Barrick's return Business welcomes Barrick's return Business welcomes Barrick's return Business welcomes Barrick's return Business welcomes Barrick's return

Nickson Pakea

Staff Reporter

The National newspaper reported that Bank South Pacific group chief executive officer Robin Fleming said the signing of the framework agreement between the Government and Barrick last Friday had been well received by the business community.
"Friday's announcement gives business much confidence in the process of rehabilitation of the mine starting and re-commissioning this year," Fleming said.
"Barrick's stated commitment to funding the costs associated with re-commissioning is also positive, and preliminary work required to move the mine towards starting operations will bring foreign exchange into the country.
Wholesale, retail and distributing company Brian Bell group chief executive officer Cameron Mackellar said the country needed Porgera to restart as it would "most certainly help kick-start a somewhat subdued economy",
"It will be great to hear when operations will resume and see the positive impacts on all those small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) who absolutely relied on Porgera operations."
The Stanley Hotel and Suites general manager Geoff Haigh said all in the hospitality industry were pleased about the mine reopening. "This will provide a much-needed boost to the economy in general," he said.
The Porgera Chamber of Commerce and Industry said it was a relief to the local community and business houses in the Porgera-Laiagam district and Enga Province.
President Nickson Pakea said the closure of the mine a year ago had severe implications on smaller businesses operating from the business spin-off catchments of the Porgera mine.
But some landowners in the Porgera gold mine catchment area in Enga Province say they are not happy with Barrick Niugini's return to re-open the mine.
Porgera River Alluvial Miners Association founder and chief executive officer Opis Papo said
the affected landowners would continue to oppose the return of Barrick, the Post Courier newspaper reported.
This follows the striking of a deal between Barrick and the government over the restart of the mine, which has been closed since April 2020.
Papo claimed that landowners had not been consulted over the return of Barrick to the mine, citing concerns over environment and socio-economic impacts.
The former Laigaip Porgera MP, Papo said the government promised to assess these complaints in November 2020 and this had not happened.