NAMAH QUESTIONS NEW PORGERA DEAL
PNG Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Belden Namah this evening took yet another swipe on the Porgera Mine reopening deal.
The Parliamentary Opposition’s backlash stemmed from Prime Minister James Marape who led a delegation to Porgera on Friday. https://postcourier.com.pg/new-deal-for-porgera-mine/
PM MARAPE UNDER FIRE ON PORGERA DEAL
Operator Barrick CEO and president, Mark Bristow accompanied PM and his delegation. Their visit was to hand over the mine agreement framework to Enga Provincial Government and landowners.
They overnighted in the mining town.
Next day, Enga Governor Sir Peter Ipatas took the Prime Minister and the delegation for a tour at impact projects taking place in Wabag District.
Projects include Sopas Enga Nursing College, Irelya Hospital and others.
In a media statement, Namah described the deal as ‘no deal.’
Porgera new deal has ceded virtually everything to Barrick and its Chinese partner Zijin Mining Group and left PNG an empty promise on paper.Belden Namah, PNG Opposition Leader
He said PM Marape visited Porgera with an assurance for a “superior” and a “way forward” deal.
However, Namah claims that in truth there is minimal benefit for PNG.
NAMAH TO MARAPE: YOU LOST YOUR GROUNDS
In addition, Namah said PM Marape seemingly has already overlooked his justifications for rejecting the re-granting of an SML to BNL.
“The reasons Barrick were outstanding environmental landowner relocation, outstanding taxation and humanitarian issues.
Further, he said LOs, Mineral Resources Enga, Kumul Minerals, and EPG will not receive any dividends over the ten years that Barrick has agreed to operate the mine except for taxes and royalties.
“The Framework Agreement(FA) states that Legacy issues are in the “OLD PORGERA BASKET.”
“What does that mean? Why has Marape allowed this when it was legacy issues that he used to refuse renewal of the Special Mining Lease in the first place?
“Will the old Porgera legacy issues be transferred to the new Porgera deal or will it be left to PNG and only assets are transferred?
This was critical and central to the entire shutdown. It has cost the nation, provincial government, landowners, contractors and employees hundreds of millions of Kina.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR LEGACY ISSUES?
“How will State and Barrick compensate for the Legacy issues?
“This is the question raised by those closest to Mr Marape in this issue.
“The real questions that need answering are the following:
Who is paying for PNG’s 51% equity? Where is the money coming from? If it is a loan, where is the source and what are the terms for this loan?
If Kumul’s 36% is to be paid for by Barrick and recouped over the next 10 years, there can be no dividends to Kumul and the State. Then where does Kumul find money to buy 100 percent of the mine? That is when it is due in ten years as per the Marape deal?
“KMHL will not receive any cashflow until at least year 2031.
NEW BENEFIT REGIME
“The LO 10% and MRE 5% will also presumably be paid by Barrick but we have no details as yet.
The PM, he said, is also silent the future of the Porgera work force and current mine contractors.
“Barrick will take home almost all dividends for the next ten years. That is in addition to a hefty management fees and equal representation on the board.
“How is this a good deal for PNG, Mr Marape?
“The worst part of this tragic fiasco is the fact PM has allowed Barrick to negotiate on its K1.2 billion tax liability.
Barrick has put that as a condition for reopening the mine, he said. Furthermore, he said it seemed Barrick has convinced Marape to accept this.
The mine started operating since 1989.