Mine closure costing K35M a month

CARE and maintenance of the Porgera gold mine in Enga costs K35 million a month, according to Barrick Gold president and chief executive officer Mark Bristow.
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Mark Bristow on site at Porgera

Staff Reporter

James Marape's government refused to renew the international miner's special mining licence in 2020 in an effort to partially nationalise the operation in Enga Province.
The closure of the mine has not only devastated the local economy in the province but cost the country hundreds of millions of kina in lost revenue and royalties to the government.
On a three-day visit to the country, Bristow said further delays in restarting the mine would affect benefits for stakeholders, including the Porgera community.
He was scheduled to meet Marape, visit Porgera in order to meet the landowners and businesses, church leaders and community representatives.
The mine is into its third year of care and maintenance while plans to restart it is on hold, awaiting the completion of talks with landowners, The National newspaper reported.
The most important is the execution of the shareholders agreement by Mineral Resources Enga.
Bristow said Barrick Niugini was continuing talks with the state negotiation team, and Mineral Resources Enga the Porgera Landowners' Association. 
"The Porgera project restart agreement provides a 1% increase to the royalty rate to 3% and an additional 10% free-carry equity to be shared between the Enga and the wider project-impacted landowners. This is on top of the 2.5% held by each of the Enga and the SML landowners through Mineral Resources Enga."
He said any further delay in the restart of the mine would deny benefits to the Porgera community and the Department of Treasury.
"Care and maintenance are currently costing K35 million a month, which will have to be repaid," Bristow said.
Bristow said Barrick was ready to finalise all remaining matters to restart Porgera.