Chaos at Papua New Guinea’s Porgera gold mine

Porgera gold mine. Photo: Richard Farbelini at English Wikipedia / Public domain. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

PORTEGA, Jun 8, 2020, RNZ. The open-pit mine has been idle since late April when the government refused to renew the mining lease held by Canadian firm Barrick Gold. Thought to be a step towards nationalising the Porgera operation, the decision not to renew is being challenged in court, Radio New Zealand reported.

The miner has warned it will cut more than 2500 jobs by the end of July if it does not resume mining.

Meanwhile, Porgera police station commander Jack Kimala told The National people were breaking into the mine site and stealing whatever they could.

Despite reports that PNG Defence Force soldiers had been sent to secure the mine, Mr Kimala said the thieves, who used to steal pay-dirt when the mine was running, were now breaking into the mine’s offices.

The mine’s future needed to be resolved soon before the situation was beyond his control, Mr Kimala said.

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