Canadian mining company Barrick Gold has been permitted by the Government of Papua New Guinea to restart operations at the Porgera gold mine, which has been out of action for three years.
In April 2020, the Papua New Guinea Government took control of the mine after refusing to extend Barrick’s special mining lease at the facility. Prime Minister James Marape cited environmental concerns with the project that were behind the government’s decision.
On Friday, Barrick announced that New Porgera Ltd was granted a special mining lease by Bob Dadae, the Governor-General of Papua New Guinea. The operation is set to produce 700,000oz per year of gold. Before production was halted, the mine produced 600,000oz of gold in 2019.
Mark Bristow, Barrick’s chief executive and president, said: “It has been a long road, but the end is now in sight. Negotiations between Barrick, the government and the other stakeholders required patience and persistence, but the spirit of partnership they conducted eventually led to an outcome acceptable to all. Barrick’s commitment to partnership with its host countries is also reflected in New Porgera Ltd’s ownership structure, which ensures the equitable sharing of the value created by Porgera with all stakeholders.”
Barrick owns a 49% stake in the venture and is the mine’s operator, while Papua New Guinea stakeholders own the remaining 51%.
Following the announcement on Friday morning, Barrick’s stock price increased by 4% on the Toronto Stock Exchange by midday.
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According to research by GlobalData, Mining Technology’s parent company, Papua New Guinea was the 18th-largest gold producer in the world in 2022. The compound annual growth rate of the sector is expected to rise by 11% between 2022 and 2026.