The Prime Minister today responded to the press release by the Deputy Opposition Leader in relation to the reopening of the Porgera Mine. “The New Porgera Limited has been incorporated and the State parties are now 51% majority owner of the mine which means the risks and responsibilities that must be negotiated through the various legal agreements are different and more complex than what the State is used to. They must now go through the regulatory process with the Mineral Resources Authority in accordance with the Mining Act which will include dealing with licensing, other technical regulations and a Development Forum for the Landowners and Provincial Government stakeholders.” PM Marape.
NO ULTERIOR MOTIVES IN THE DELAY IN
REOPENING OF THE PORGERA MINE
Approved for Release: Wednesday, 14th December 2022
The Prime Minister today responded to the press release by the Deputy Opposition Leader in relation to the reopening of the Porgera Mine.
“The Deputy Opposition Leader has never sat down at the table with any project stake holders to negotiate a way forward for any national projects and can only make uninformed statements from the sidelines.
“The National Government together with Barrick have jointly concluded all the important milestones contained in the Porgera Project Framework Agreement, which was initially signed in April 2021. Since then, we have concluded the Commencement Agreement, the Shareholders agreement and now Kumul mining is completing the
Operators Agreement which is between the new joint venture company and the Barrick Operating entity rather than with the State,” Prime Minister Marape said.
“The New Porgera Limited has been incorporated and the State parties are now 51% majority owner of the mine which means the risks and responsibilities that must be negotiated through the various legal agreements are different and more complex than what the State is used to.
They must now go through the regulatory process with the Mineral Resources Authority in accordance with the Mining Act which will include dealing with licensing, other technical regulations and a Development Forum for the Landowners and Provincial Government stakeholders.”
He said it is now this internal process and the settlement of legacy issues that the old Porgera Joint Venture between the Mineral Resources Enga (owned jointly by the Landowners and Provincial Government) and Barrick that needed to settled that will drive the timing of the reopening of the mine and not further commercial, technical and administrative negotiations with the Marape - Rosso Government.
“PNG deserves the best outcome in our resources negotiations and our stakeholders have a right to be heard and benefit from those projects,” the Prime Minister said.
“There are no ulterior motives in the delay, other than to ensure that all stakeholders views are considered. It was important for both Barrick and the National Government to secure the support of the Enga Provincial Government, and the landowners in the early part of the negotiations, and with the signing of the revised PPCA in September 2022, those issues are now sorted out.
“The government is working through a process of properly establishing the SNT as an organization. But these two processes are happening simultaneously,” the Prime Minister said.
“We have had State Negotiation Teams since 2007 when we started negotiations on the PNG LNG Project, and we are fortunate that a handful of these experienced resources are still around and available to the State. These are high value industries and we have had some high quality resources who have effectively secured important gains for our people.
“I want high quality negotiations, advisory services and project coordination that result in positive results and reputation for our people and our government. If we do not have those immediately available, we procure them.
“The Government part of the negotiation is supported by high technical advisors and advisory firms where required who are procured internationally. These advisors support Public Servants who serve the interest of the SNT over and above their day-to-day duties. The consultants are paid industry rates within the legal limits of the authorizing officer and within the terms of their contracts.”
In relation to Wafi Golpu project, Prime Minister Marape said that the negotiations were focused on ensuring that the landowners are able to participate throughout the construction phase and then build value over the life of the project.
He expects to make an announcement on the completion of the fiscal terms before the end of the year.
“My government is committed to ensuring that we get better fiscal terms from large scale projects such as those proposed for the New Porgera Gold Mine, Wafi Golpu, and the gas projects P’nyang and Papua LNG Project.
In P’nyang we achieved a 63% benefit split outcome which is a record. I have achieved more than the previous governments and a large part of this is due to the leadership of the various State Negotiations Team over the last two years under my leadership,” the Prime Minister said.
“Any bonuses that may be due and payable to public servants working in this space would normally be based on the bonus guidelines approved by NEC and the SRC back in 2009 when the PNG LNG was first negotiated.
“This is not something that my government initiated, but we are determined to support and recognize the commitments made by good public servants who are useful to any government in this line of work.
Most importantly these incentives are performance based and allow us to compete with the Statutory Authorities and the private sector where our public servants could go to because of remuneration.”
Prime Minister Marape said he is surprised that the good Deputy Opposition Leader has chosen to rubbish the efforts that our public servants put into this work, which is over and above the regular duties they have on a day to day basis.
The Prime Minister added that considering the work of the SNT is negotiating an estimated USD30 billion worth of resource projects, arguing over the payments to advisors and advisory firms shows inexperience and immaturity.