Porgera in crisis

BARRICK Gold’s giant Porgera mine in the Enga province of Papua New Guinea is under a siege of escalating costs since villagers felled four power pylons two weeks ago – forcing management to wind down open cut operations.
Porgera in crisis Porgera in crisis Porgera in crisis Porgera in crisis Porgera in crisis

A source told PNGIndustryNews.net the mine shut down open cut operations as its fuel reserves fell below 40%.

Porgera, which also has an underground mining operation, is using big diesel-fired gensets for its electricity needs and fuel consumption is up to 220,000 litres per day, according to the source.

Since the weekend, there was limited traffic in and out of the mine as there was also a felled power pole across the road at Laigam.

The mine receives power from the Hides gas to electricity plant in the Southern Highlands - and its associated Hides gas conditioning plant development is a PNG LNG project site.

People from Tari, an area known for the devastating landside which claimed dozens of lives recently, felled the power pylons from the GTE plant to Porgera in the Harida jungle, according to The National.

As of yesterday, PNG police reportedly believed it could be two weeks before power was fully restored to the mine as bad weather limited helicopter use.

Barrick owns 95% of Porgera while state-owned Minerals Resources Development Company has the remaining 5%.

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