Barrick Gold: Porgera gold mine close to restart
The process of re-opening the Porgera gold mine under the terms of the binding framework agreement between the government and operator Barrick Niugini Limited (BNL) took a major step forward with a discussion between Barrick President and Chief Executive Mark Bristow, Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape and the various Porgera Landowners groups.
Porgera Gold Mine
The framework agreement provides that Porgera will be owned by a new joint venture held 51% by Papua New Guinea (PNG) stakeholders and 49% by BNL, with BNL continuing as the operator. The framework agreement also calls on the Porgera Landowners and the Enga Province to have a dialogue to determine how the 10% ‘protected equity’ which forms part of PNG’s 51% interest will be allocated. The new partnership agreement was first outlined in April.
Speaking at the event, which was attended by Prime Minister James Marape, Enga Governor Peter Ipatas and local Member of Parliament Tomait Kapili, Bristow said the agreement made each of the parties - the landowners, the national government, the province and BNL - a committed stakeholder responsible for the long-term success of the mine.
Mark Bristow, CEO, Barrick Gold
“In aligning our interests, it recognizes the importance of the landowners and the communities, and prioritizes the benefits they will receive, not only from the mine but from a new Porgera Development Fund that will invest tens of millions of Kina in promising local projects,” said Bristow.
“In addition, BNL is committed to giving preference to competitive local contractors and suppliers and to employing Porgerans first. With BNL as operator, Porgera will also redouble its efforts to be a responsible steward of the environment.”
“The road to re-opening is a long one, and between the state, local communities and BNL, the implementation details of the agreement still need to be finalized. However, if all parties work together uninterrupted in the spirit of partnership envisaged by the agreement, our hope is that the mine will be able to restart later this year. It is no small task. But we are committed to playing our part, so that the new Porgera can realize its extraordinary potential and deliver decades of value to the people of the Porgera Valley, Enga, Papua New Guinea and the shareholders of BNL.”
People Moves: Peter Cunningham appointed Rio Tinto CFO
Rio Tinto has appointed Peter Cunningham as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) with immediate effect. Peter, who has been Interim Chief Financial Officer since 1 January 2021, will also join the Rio Tinto Board as an executive director at the same time.
Peter Cunningham appointed Rio Tinto CFO
Peter Cunningham was previously Group Controller and has held a number of senior financial and non-financial leadership positions across Rio Tinto in Australia and the UK. In a career spanning 28 years with Rio Tinto, he has held roles including Global Head of Health, Safety, Environment & Communities; Head of Energy and Climate Strategy; and Head of Investor Relations.
Prior to joining Rio Tinto, Peter qualified as a chartered accountant.
Rio Tinto CEO Jakob Stausholm commented: “I am delighted to confirm Peter in the role and, having worked closely with him for a number of years, I know he is the ideal person to be our Chief Financial Officer. His detailed knowledge of the company and of the financial and non-financial drivers of our industry will be invaluable as we continue to strengthen Rio Tinto.”
Rio Tinto Chairman Simon Thompson added: "I look forward to Peter joining the Rio Tinto Board and know from experience that his deep understanding of Rio Tinto and commitment to disciplined capital allocation will serve shareholders well and enrich our Board discussions.”
Rio Tinto aiming for net zero by 2050
Rio Tinto is aiming to reach net zero emissions across its operations by 2050. Across the company, it is targeting a 15% reduction in absolute emissions and a 30% reduction in emissions intensity by 2030, from a 2018 baseline.
Aluminium is found in everything from cars to phones. But one of the challenges of producing this essential material responsibly is finding ways to decarbonise the process.
Part of the reason is creating alumina – the main ingredient in aluminium – takes a lot of energy, which in turn creates greenhouse gas emissions. New technologies will be essential to helping reduce emissions, but many haven’t been proven. And some not yet even discovered. Rio Tinto is partnering with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)to develop hydrogen energy options and make a positive step towards these goals.