Publications

A third party review of the Barrick/Porgera Joint Venture off-lease resettlement pilot: Operating context and opinion on suitability

Published by: Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining

Following a strategic review of relocation activities at the Porgera mine from 1988 to 2013, Barrick PJV developed a framework for progressive off-lease resettlement. During Barrick PJV’s consultations with the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Government, the Porgera Landowners Association (PLOA) and the Local Resettlement Committee (LRC), it was determined that an ‘independent observer’ should be appointed to monitor the pilot.

In March 2015, Barrick PJV approached the Centre for Social Responsibility (CSRM) at The University of Queensland in Australia about the possibility of partnering with a PNG-based entity to serve as an independent observer for the pilot. As a preliminary step, Barrick PJV agreed to fund a rapid review of relocation at Porgera and the off-lease resettlement pilot. The agreed scope of work required CSRM to: (a) provide a brief history of relocation at Porgera and (b) offer an opinion on the ‘suitability’ of the progressive off-lease resettlement pilot framework. The scope of work also recognised the need to situate the Porgera mine within the context of its broader operating environment. In the interests of transparency, Barrick PJV and CSRM agreed to make the report available in the public domain.

In July 2015, two senior CSRM researchers were appointed to undertake the rapid review. This involved an examination of background documentation, and consultation with 31 internal and external stakeholders who were familiar with the history of relocation at Porgera and what off-lease resettlement might entail at the operation. The primary criteria for inclusion in the interview process was that individuals needed to have significant knowledge and direct experience with relocation or resettlement at Porgera. The review did not include a visit to the site or direct consultation with surrounding communities.

Following a brief introduction (Section 1), the report provides a high-level description of the mine’s location, history of ownership and the basic configuration of the mining complex at Porgera (Section 2). This section also describes the mine’s expansion over nearly three decades. Section 3 outlines several key features within the PNG context as foreground discussion. This context is written to assist the reader in understanding some of the factors that have contributed to the present situation at Porgera. The present situation on the lease and nearby areas is detailed in Section 4. Sections 5 and 6 provide an overview of the PJV’s approach to relocation since mining activities began in 1988. Section 7 outlines the main features of the off-lease resettlement framework. An opinion on the ‘suitability’ of the proposed off-lease resettlement pilot is presented in Section 8.

CITATION

Kemp, D., and J.R. Owen (2015). A third party review of the Barrick/Porgera Joint Venture off-lease resettlement pilot: Operating context and opinion on suitability. Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining (CSRM), The University of Queensland: Brisbane.