Barrick said Monday the purpose of the meeting was to reaffirm the miners' commitment to working with the PNG government and stakeholders to ensure Porgera continued to deliver value for all. But there was also a small need to stress the importance of renewing the special mining lease for Porgera which is set to expire on August 16.
Barrick CEO Mark Bristow and Zijin executive director George Fang also met with the governor of Enga province, the Porgera landowners and other stakeholders to discuss the proposed lease extension.
Porgera, 130km west of Mt Hagen and 600km northwest of Port Moresby, first poured gold in 1990, producing more than 20Moz of gold over the life of mine. According to Barrick, it contributes to about 10% of the nation's exports and employs more than 3,300 Papua New Guineans.
Barrick and Zijin each own 47.5% of the mine, while the landowners and the Enga provincial government hold the remaining 5% interest.
"The proposed extension to its lease will allow the mine to remain productive for at least another 20 years. To sustain mine operations, however, it will require a significant capital injection, and it is difficult to justify that kind of investment without the security of an extended mine lease," Bristow said.
Barrick (TSX:ABX) shares rose about 5% or C84c in Toronto on Monday to $17.65. The company's market capitalisation now sits at about $30.1 billion.