New Porgera Chairman announces reopening date for gold mine


The Porgera gold mine in Papua New Guinea’s Enga Province will officially restart on 22 December, according to the Managing Director of Kumul Minerals Holdings, Sarimu Kanu, who is also Chairman of New Porgera Limited, the new operator of the mine.

Kumul Minerals Holdings’ Sarimu Kanu Credit: BAI

Kanu revealed the date during a discussion at the PNG Mining and Energy Investment Conference in Sydney this week.

The mine has been under care and maintenance since its closure in April 2020 following the stalling of negotiations over a new special mining lease.

A new lease was finally issued to New Porgera Limited (NPL) in October this year. NPL is 51% owned by PNG stakeholders, including Kumul Minerals, local landowners and the Enga provincial government, and 49% by Barrick Niugini Limited (BNL), itself a joint venture between Barrick Gold and Zijin Mining of China.

The reopening date is confirmation that all legal and contractual conditions are now in place. First gold is expected to be poured in the first quarter of 2024.

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According to NPL, at an assumed gold price of US$1,800 per ounce, PNG shareholders can expect to receive nearly US$7.3 billion (approximately K27.6 billion) over 20 years and US$2.8 billion (K10.6 billion) in the first ten years.

New Porgera Limited will be managed by Barrick (Niugini) Limited and employ more than 2,300 people by June 2024 and over 3,000 by the end of 2024.

‘It’s been a long journey but in the process we have secured the buy-in of all the stakeholders and we look forward to steering the mine back to world-class production,’ said Barrick Gold’s CEO Mark Bristow. ‘It undoubtedly has the potential to join our Tier One gold mine portfolio, the largest of its kind in the industry.’

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