Porgera has had a rich history dating back to 1938 when alluvial gold was first reported through early exploration.
The first European contact with the Porgera area was in late 1938 when gold was discovered in the Porgera river by John Black in March 1939. Alluvial mining began in Porgera in the late 1940's.
- The Porgera mine was developed by an unincorporated joint venture, the Porgera Joint Venture (PJV) comprising:
- * Placer (PNG) Pty Limited
- * Highlands Gold Properties Pty Limited
- * Renison Consolidated Goldfields (RGC) PNG Pty Limited
- * Mineral Resources Porgera Pty Limited
Approval to mine in Porgera was granted to the Porgera Joint Venturers after detailed negotiations with landowners and provincial and national governments in May 1989. These negotiations included an equity component for the Special Mining Lease (SML) landowners, Enga Provincial Government and the State, royalties and arrangement of compensation packages to landowners for the loss of economic plants, gardens and houses among other things. PJV was granted a temporary right to utilize the land on which it operates.
A Mining Development Contract was signed between the Independent State of PNG and the Porgera Joint Venturers on 12 May 1989 and the SML was granted by the then Governor General. A Compensation Agreement and Relocation Agreement were reached between the Porgera Joint Venturers and the agents of the Tieni, Waiwa, Tuanda, Pulumaini, Angalaini, Mamai and Anga clans of Porgera.
The SML is the main tenement and the tenement that contains the open pit and underground mines and the mine process plant. Additionally, several other tenements, including Leases for Mining Purposes (LMP) and Mining Easements were granted to allow for the development of waste dumps, water storage, electrical transmission, water reticulation, roads and accomodation camps. A Mining Lease was also granted to allow for the mining and processing of lime for use in the production of gold.
At the start of the project in 1989, the population of the Porgera sub-district consisted of approximately 10,000 individuals. Most of this population lived in scattered hamlets mainly along the Porgera River Valley avoiding the less hospitable higher altitudes. Porgerans lived largely subsistence lifestyles, based on cultivation of food gardens up to 2,400m elevation.
The Porgera mine was developed in a process of stages. The first gold pour was on 20 September 1990 and the mine was officially opened by the then Prime Minister of PNG, Rabbie Namaliu on 20 October 1990.
JOINT VENTURE (JV) OWNERSHIP
1938 Alluvial gold first reported
1948 Alluvial source traced to Mt Waruwari
1975 Exploration JV formed (Placer & MIM)
1979 Consolidated Gold Fields (RGC) joined JV
1982 Discovery of high grade Zone VII
1988 Feasability study submitted to PNG government
1989 Special Mining Lease approved
1990 First gold poured
1997 Placer Dome acquires further 25% from Highlands
2002 Placer Dome acquires further 25% via Aurion takeover
2003 DRD acquires 20% of PJV from Oil Search
2005/6 Barrick acquires PDI 75% of PJV (5% MRE, 20% DRD)
2007 Barrick acquires further 20% from Emperor/DRD
2010 PJV celebrates 20 years of gold production
2013 PJV celebrates 18 million ounces poured
2015 PJV achieves 19 million ounces poured
2015 Zijin Mining acquires 47.5% of PJV (50% of BNL)
2015 PJV celebrates 25 years of gold production
2017 PJV achieves 20 million ounces of gold production
2017 PJV launches website