PORGERA GOLD MINE TO EXTEND OPERATIONS IN PNG

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Oct. 2) - Barrick Gold Ltd has plans to extend the mine life of Papua New Guinea’s Porgera Gold Mine, which is scheduled to shut down in 2014.

Barrick Gold Ltd chief executive officer Greg Wilkins who visited the country over the weekend made this announcement before the Mining Minister Sam Akoitai and the Inter-Government Relations Minister Sam Abal during a cocktail function held in Port Moresby.

Mr. Wilkins said through Barrick’s acquisition of 75 percent interest in the Porgera mine through Placer Dome, it realized not just the value of the asset but also the great potential to increase the reserves and resources there. "We will be reinvesting the money from the mine to exploration and hope with some success we will be extending the mine life," he said.

Barrick Gold Ltd is an international gold mining company with 27 mines operating in 10 countries in five different continents including Australia and now Papua New Guinea. Wilkins said the country was endowed with a significant number of gold deposits and had many excellent exploration prospects. He said the fiscal regime in the country was quite competitive and was a good recipe for a vibrant mining industry. "As new stewards of the Porgera Gold Mine and hopefully other opportunities I want to assure everybody that Barrick is here to stay, he said.

Pleased with the announcement, the Mining Minister Sam Akoitai said the company had been doing a lot of exploration within their special mining lease and there were indications that the company would be applying for an extension of the mine lease. "Their exploration within the mining lease has been encouraging for the government because Porgera is still very important. Porgera is still very important to the country because of the revenue that the government collects from it," he stressed.

Akoitai said it was good news for the PNG Government with Porgera intending to extend its mine life because this would boost confidence in the mining sector in PNG.

October 3, 2006

Papua New Guinea Post-Courier: www.postcourier.com.pg/

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