SHANGHAI, Apr 26 (SMM) – Zijin Mining said Sunday that its gold production is expected to be significantly affected by the loss from the Porgera mine in Papua New Guinea, as the local government has refused to extend the mining lease.
The gold mine is located in PNG’s northern highlands region and operated by Barrick Niugini Limited (BNL), a joint venture between Barrick and Zijin Mining. Zijin Mining bought a 50% stake in BNL for $298 million in 2015.
PNG Prime Minister James Marape said on Friday that the Special Mining Lease will not be renewed “in the best interests of the state, especially in lieu of the environmental damages, claims and resettlements issues.”
BNL applied for the extension of the mining lease in June 2017, in a bid to “ensure that arrangements are in place to enable continued operations of the Porgera Gold Mine once the current SML expires in August 2019,” Barrick said in the statement on Friday.
Porgera contributes to about 10% of the nation’s exports and employs over 3,300 Papua New Guinea nationals, according to a report by mining.com.