Barrick Serves Notice of Dispute Over Porgera Mine

Barrick Gold announced that its subsidiary, Barrick (PD) Australia Pty Ltd., an investor in the Porgera mine, has given notice to Papua New Guinea (PNG) that a dispute has arisen under the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) between PNG and Australia. Barrick PD said the dispute arose out of the PNG government’s decision not to extend the Porgera Special Mining Lease (SML) in violation of the terms of the BIT and international law governing foreign investment. Barrick PD is seeking to recover damages it has already suffered and damages it may suffer in the future since PNG refuses to grant an extension of the Porgera SML, the company said. If the dispute cannot be resolved through consultations and negotiations, Barrick PD has elected to refer the dispute to arbitration before the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Barrick Niugini Ltd., the joint venture between Barrick PD and a subsidiary of Zijin Mining Group Ltd., has also commenced conciliation proceedings against PNG before ICSID, Barrick said. Barrick said it continues to advocate for a negotiated solution to an extension of the Porgera mining lease on terms that would be beneficial to all stakeholders.

As featured in Womp 2020 Vol 08 -