Activities of the Independent Panel of Observers (IPO) have ceased by mutual agreement between the University of Queensland and the Porgera Joint Venture (PJV) due to changes in the PJV’s priorities for resettlement planning and safety concerns for personnel. The Local Resettlement Committee (LRC) has been advised that IPO activities have ceased. Concerns raised by the IPO about the PJV’s human rights policy framework remain unresolved.

In March 2015, Barrick PJV approached the Centre for Social Responsibility ("CSRM"), part of the Sustainable Minerals Institute ("SMI") 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 project. The company stated that it was cognisant of the difficulties involved in moving people off the lease area, and wanted to document lessons drawn from the pilot's activities. As a preliminary step towards appointing independent observers, Barrick PJV agreed to fund CSRM to conduct a rapid review of relocation at Porgera, and to understand the parameters of the off-lease resettlement pilot framework. The agreed scope of work for this review required CSRM to (i) provide a brief history of relocation at Porgera and (ii) offer an opinion on the 'suitability' of the off-lease resettlement pilot framework. In the interests of transparency, Barrick PJV and CSRM agreed, from the outset, to make the report available in the public domain. View the report here. After conducting the initial review, an Independent Panel of Observers ("the Panel") was formed in March 2016, chaired by CSRM. The Panel's primary function is to observe project activities, engage with project stakeholders, and to report on key developments as the company, government and landowner stakeholders attempt to progress the pilot project. Panel members are not involved in planning or implementation of activities, and do not hold decision-making power. The three Panel members include:

  • Professor Deanna Kemp, CSRM, Centre Director (Chair)
  • Professor John Owen, CSRM and resettlement specialist
  • Rhonda Gwale, Senior Lecturer, PNG University of Technology.

The Panel is required to produce an annual public report. These reports are intended to document where progress is being made and to identify critical issues that arise throughout the process. The Panel has completed two annual monitoring reports. The Panel's first report follows one year of engagement from March 2016 to 2017, and the second report from March 2017 to May 2018. Members of the Local Resettlement Committee ("LRC"), including the PJV, are provided with an opportunity to review the report and to provide feedback to the Panel before its public release. PJV is responsible for covering the costs associated with the Panel's engagement. Editorial control over the report sits with the Panel.

Publisher: Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining

Region: South Pacific

Type: Report


Kemp, D. and J.R. Owen (2017). Porgera Joint Venture (PJV) off-lease resettlement pilot: Independent Panel of Observers annual monitoring report: Annual monitoring report (March 2016-2017). Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining (CSRM), The University of Queensland: Brisbane

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Porgera Joint Venture (PJV) off-lease resettlement pilot independent panel of observers: annual monitoring report (March 2016-2017)

Porgera Joint Venture (PJV) off-lease resettlement pilot independent panel of observers: annual monitoring report (March 2016-2017)