Porgera halted by rampaging locals

A MAJOR raid on Barrick Gold’s Porgera gold mine in Papua New Guinea by a reported “unruly mob” of locals has injured mine workers, damaged equipment and suspended operations.
Porgera halted by rampaging locals Porgera halted by rampaging locals Porgera halted by rampaging locals Porgera halted by rampaging locals Porgera halted by rampaging locals

Thousands of people have moved to live near the open cut and underground mine over the years with many seeking legal and illegal artisanal mining opportunities in the area.

While Barrick has a considerable security force at the mine, it could not hold back a large raid on the open pit early yesterday morning.

According to The National, mine workers were injured and three were taken hostage as scores of illegal miners went on a rampage.

Reports indicate three workers, one of whom had sustained serious injuries, were later freed.

"We have reported this serious incident to the government and to police," Porgera mine general manager Greg Walker told the PNG newspaper.

"We are calling on them to act swiftly to restore law and order in Porgera."

Walker reportedly said there was no excuse for the illegal and violent behaviour of "these trespassers".

"They place our employees and themselves in grave danger when they act outside of the law in their attempts to steal gold from the mine," he further told the newspaper.

"The behaviour of these illegal miners, virtually all of whom have migrated in from outside of Porgera, has also contributed to the steep decline of law and order in the Porgera valley, affecting the community at large.

"This simply has to be stopped and I call on the government to undertake its responsibility to protect our legal right to peacefully conduct our business."

A Barrick spokesperson confirmed to PNGIndustryNews.net that the newspaper has reported the events accurately.

A Barrick statement on the incident is expected in the coming days.


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