Barrick Gold Corp (NYSE:GOLD) has reached out to the Papua New Guinea government as it looks to resolve a long-running dispute that threatens its gold mining operations in the southwestern Pacific island nation. At stake is the company’s Porgera Gold mine, whereby operations remain suspended.
Barrick Gold Papua New Guinea Push
Prime Minister James Marape has already held discussions with the company’s Chief Executive Officer Mark Bristow. The two have reached an agreement in principle, whereby new Papua New Guinea is to take a major share stake in the lucrative gold mine.
However, there is still a long way to go before the two reach a binding agreement. Progress has been met on a set of agreements as Barrick Gold looks to start operation after the Porgera mine was shut down in April after the government refused to renew an expired special mining lease by Barrick Niugini in which Barrick Gold and Zijin Mining own a combined 47.5%. Local landowners and Enga Provincial government own the rest.
The shutdown of mining operations came at the worst times as gold prices were rising before hitting record highs. Barrick Niugini was forced to lay off 2,650 local miners. Barrick Niugini suffered yet another big blow in September after it lost a court challenge over rights to the gold mine. Later on, it emerged that the special mining lease had been awarded to national mining company Kumul Mineral Holdings.
Amid the Barrick Gold woes in New Papua New Guinea, Canadian gold companies are increasingly rewarding investors with higher dividends. Companies have seen their cash reserves edge higher in the wake of gold prices settling near the $1,900 per ounce level after hitting record highs of $2,070.
Gold Stocks Dividends
Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd (TSE: KL) has increased its quarterly dividend by 50% to 18.75 cents a share after doubling it to 12.5 cents at the start of the year. The increase comes on cash reserves, increasing by 58% to $848 million.
Yamana Gold Inc. (NYSE: AUY) has already confirmed it will raise its quarterly dividend by 50%, having already increased its 2020 production guidance by 3%. Kinross Gold has reinstated its dividend offering after canceling it seven years ago.