Papua New Guinea: Supporting the financial system
Gold is found in developed and developing countries. Some gold-mining companies are working to help overcome challenges faced by low-income and remote communities, such as access to financial products.
For many people around the world, easy access to banking services is taken for granted, with branches or automated teller machines (ATMs) on virtually every street corner. For the residents of Porgera, however, this is not the case. But for the first time in 10 years, they now have a bank branch and two ATMs, thanks to a long-term partnership between Barrick Gold and the Bank of South Pacific (BSP).
The region’s previous bank branch had closed due to the precarious security situation, and the closest branch was in the provincial capital, Wabag - 75 kilometres away over difficult terrain. Barrick asked BSP to consider building a branch with retail services in the Porgera Valley, so that employees and the community at large would enjoy better access to financial services. After careful consideration, BSP decided to go ahead.
Having a bank branch where residents can make deposits means that there are fewer cash transactions, helping crime prevention, increasing personal savings and reducing cash in homes. The bank also caters to small businesses, offering access to credit, which will helps owners to build their businesses locally.