Barrick Gold progressing Porgera mine negotiations in PNG
Barrick Gold’s Porgera operation has been closed for a year following a dispute with the Papa New Guinea government which saw its mining licence, issued with Chinese partner Zijin Mining, fail to be renewed.
Papua New Guinea
Barrick notes the statement released by Papua New Guinea prime minister James Marape announcing an imminent agreement to reopen Porgera mine.
“Barrick and the Government of Papua New Guinea have continued to hold constructive discussions on a framework agreement for the recommissioning of Porgera, which has been on care and maintenance since April 2020.”
The agreement under discussion is in line with the principles announced in October, providing for a joint venture between Barrick Niugini Limited (BNL) and the government of PNG to operate Porgera going forward on the basis of increased PNG ownership and a fair sharing of economic benefits.
BNL would continue as the operator of the mine. We remain hopeful that we will reach agreement with the PNG Government on a long-term partnership that will see the reopening of Porgera in the near future.
Barrick's CEO Mark Bristow commented in the company's annual report in March: “T his has been a long and difficult negotiation, but I am optimistic that we will reach an agreement and get the mine reopened this year."
Barrick said BNL would continue as the operator of the mine, adding it would issue a further statement once a final agreement is achieved.
Porgera is an open pit and underground gold mine in the Enga province of Papua New Guinea, around 600 kilometres (370 miles) northwest of Port Moresby. The mine produced 600,000 ounces of gold in 2019 before being put on care and maintenance. Barrick and Zijin both own 47.5% of Porgera, with the remaining 5% held by the Enga provincial government and landowners.
Reserves & Resources
- Proven & Probabale Gold Reserves - 2.4 million ounces
- Measured & Indicated Gold Reserves (inclusive of Reserves) - 3.9 million ounces
- Inferred Gold Resources - 1.1 million ounces
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.