PNG government signs amendment deed to commencement agreement with BNL
2022/04/08 8170

Zijin News - The government of Papua New Guinea and Barrick (Niugini) Limited (“BNL”) recently entered into a Deed of Amendment to the Porgera Project Commencement Agreement and an Escrow Deed to park 10% of the project equity of the new joint venture. The deeds were signed at the Government House in Port Moresby.

PNG Prime Minister James Marape attended the signing, which he said is a major milestone to the reopening of the Porgera mine.

In April 2021, Barrick (Niugini) Limited (“BNL”) entered into a framework agreement with the PNG government on the future ownership and operatorship of the Porgera Gold Mine (“Porgera”). The newly signed PPCA and the Deed of Amendment to it have elaborated in detail on matters set out in the framework agreement and established steps and procedures for Porgera to apply for a new mining license, which pave the way for the related parties to execute a series of documents.

According to the PPCA, the Porgera Gold Mine will be held by the new joint venture established by the PNG stakeholders and BNL. The shares of the joint venture will be: BNL, 49%, Kumul Minerals Holdings Limited (a state-owned company in PNG, “KMHL”), 36%, Mineral Resources Enga Limited, 5% and other PNG stakeholders, 10%.

The signing of the Escrow Deed to park 10% of the equity of the new joint venture aims to set aside disputes and accelerate the registration and incorporation of the new joint venture company.

In addition to the signing the above-mentioned agreements, BNL, the PNG government and KMHL also signed a shareholders’ agreement for the new joint venture, which now awaits the signature of Mineral Resources Enga Limited to take effect. Porgera can be reopened only when a number of conditions are satisfied, including the incorporation of a new joint venture, signing of the operatorship agreement for the new joint venture, fiscal stability agreement, a new mining development contract, etc.

Zijin Mining and Barrick Gold each hold a 50% equity interest in BNL. And BNL will be responsible for the reopening and operation of the Porgera Gold Mine. BNL and PNG stakeholders are actively advancing negotiations to sign the aforementioned agreements, to fully resume the operation of Porgera as early as possible.