Tag Archives: Porgera

Two Illegal Miners Shot Dead By Cohort at Porgera

Robert Apala | Post Courier | December 5, 2019

A Porgera landowner has called for urgent action against illegal mining activities after two men were shot dead, allegedly by another group of illegal miners.

According to landowner Rexie Kulina, over 200 illegal miners entered the Porgera pit area to scavenge when the incident happened last Saturday.

Mr Kulina said illegal mining activities is raising law and order issues to a dangerous level, with armed gangs now entering the in-pit and threatening locals.

He said the deceased, both from Kandep, were in a ‘hot spot’ or area where gold specks could easily be found, when they were challenged by an armed raider, allegedly from a neighbouring province.

Mr Kulina said the second group of illegal miners wanted to move into a rich spot, where the Kandep man was getting A-grade gold but he resisted and was shot.

“The law and order situation in the valley is tense and local police cannot handle such issues in the mining areas and in the valley,” Mr Kulina said.

Porgera local police chief, Sergeant Poko Itapu, said local policemen are trying their best to settle the issues of illegal miners but still there is trouble and violence.

Sgt Itapu said they can only arrest and charge illegal miners if they cause fear to the general public or destroy public property, but if they just pass through Porgera station, the police cannot do anything.

“We are here just to protect public properties and the general public but whatever these illegal miners do in the mine’s open pit is not our concern,” he said.

Sgt Itapu said the two opposing ethnic groups are regrouping and locals are walking in groups with weapons, while women, children and mine workers in Porgera station monitor the situation in fear.

He said relatives of the deceased are demanding compensation and also want the killer to be handed over to police.

“There are no leaders here in the valley.

“The local police are powerless. “We want the government to declare a state of emergency (SoE) in Porgera valley,” Sgt Itapu said.

“We want the so-called leaders of Porgera to return because the people are suffering and want peace.”

He said most Porgera landowners and leaders are in Port Moresby fighting over the right to lead the mine license renewal.

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Porgera Community Leaders Call For State Of Emergency

Post Courier | November 4, 2019

A group of community leaders from Porgera,in Enga Province is calling on the Government to declare a state of emergency in the district.

Porgera district law and order co-ordinator Joe Kuala claimed yesterday that there was chaos in Porgera, especially with the increase in the number of settlers and illegal miners.

Mr Kuala said the law and order situation in the district had worsened to the extent where the mine pit had become a battle field for tribal and ethnic clashes.

He said currently there were 36 police officers on the ground looking after more than 70,000 people and that needed to be seriously looked at.

“High powered guns from Hela and neighboring villages have flooded into the station and this has seen a number of increases of rearms and we are scared as our station is not safe anymore,” Mr Kuala said.

“There is also a high number of illicit activities, including the selling and consumption of home brew and marijuana in public areas.
“This has become a day-to-day activity now.”

Mr Kuala said despite attempts to solve tribal conflicts through compensations and mediation hearings, the situation had gone from bad to worse, especially with limited police officers on the ground to provide security and policing for the community.

“We are now calling on the Government to declare a state of emergency in Porgera and sort this law and order issues once and for all.
“We cannot continue to live in fear of being shot at or being attacked at our homes and work place,” he said.

“Porgera is a local community station where public servants live however with these issues, many public servants including teachers have refused to work because their lives are being threatened.

“We are asking the minister for Police and Defense and the state to please listen to our pleas and help us by looking into this mess.

“We are willing to work with government to ensure that the future of our children are safe,” he said.

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Porgera landowners call on PNG govt to reject Barrick

Radio New Zealand | 4 November, 2019

Landowners in Papua New Guinea’s Enga province have pressed the government not to renew a license for a Canadian miner.

Barrick Gold Ltd, which is co-operator of Enga’s Porgera gold mine with China’s Zijin Mining Group, is pushing to renew its contract for another 20 years.

Negotiations are ongoing with PNG’s government which said it was seeking a greater share in the mine.

But landowners continue to complain about lack of compensation for environmental damage caused by the mine over almost thirty years of operation.

Additionally, the chairman of the Porgera Landowners Group, Nixon Mangape, told EMTV that promised benefits from the mine were never forthcoming.

“I said ‘no means no’. Barrick’s license has expired and the company should be ready to exit. So you exit, you exit peacefully. No negotiation.”

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Porgera Mine – A World Class Disaster

The Porgera gold mine has made people slaves on their own land, forced to scrape in the polluted mine tailings to try and earn the money to buy food and basic essentials. The owners of Barrick Gold and Zijin Mining should hang their heads in shame…

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Barrick Shareholders Call On Authorities To Address Violent Crime

Mining company looks to State to resolve the completely foreseeable social problems it has created…

Post Courier | October 7, 2019

The shareholders of Barrick (Niugini) Limited, operator of the Porgera Mine in Enga Province, have expressed their sadness at the passing of a mine employee who was fatally injured in a shooting incident at the mine on the night of September 29.

They are now calling on the authorities to address criminal behaviour in Porgera.

President and chief executive officer of Barrick Gold Mark Bristow, and chairman of Zijin mining, Chen Jinghe, made the following comments:

“We are deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Samuel Marefa, an asset protection officer at the Porgera mine who sustained a serious gun-shot injury during that night.

“Samuel was evacuated by air to Port Moresby for urgent surgical treatment and he had been in critical condition for several days.

“We received the tragic news last night that following a series of complex surgical procedures he could not hold on.

“Samuel passed away as a consequence of his injuries from the shooting.

“Our company is deeply saddened by his passing, and our thoughts are with Samuel’s wife and family at this difficult time.

“Barrick (Niugini) limited management has been consulting with State authorities since the incident and we have made it clear that we consider it unacceptable that criminals can routinely intrude into operational areas of the mine and behave in this way with impunity.

“The impact of this unlawful and violent behaviour is significant, both in terms of loss of life and serious injury, including to law-abiding mine employees simply trying to earn their living at work, and in terms of the law and order situation in Porgera generally.

“We call on State and provincial authorities to urgently and thoroughly investigate the assault on Mr Marefa, bring the murderers to justice, and to address the rising incidence of violence and lawlessness in the Porgera Valley, which makes it difficult for residents to carry out ordinary activities and lead normal lives.”

Mr Bristow and Mr Chen noted that the company stood ready to work cooperatively with the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary and other authorities in responding to this latest incidence of violence and to finding long-term solutions to the critical state of law and order in the Porgera valley.

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Illegal Porgera mining fuels lawlessness

Bid Ambassi | Post Courier | 1 October 2019

Both government and the operator of the Porgera mine, have to be blamed for not taking tough measures in stamping out illegal mining activities in the Porgera mine. The effect of not addressing the illegal mining activities by the government is contributing to the lawlessness and social problems in the communities.

Law and order problem is increasing in our communities.

Tribal fighting is a major problem that is costing a lot of human lives. There is no peace and harmony in the communities we are living Government properties worth millions of kina, and properties worth thousands of kina and food gardens that are suppose to sustain the livelihood of the people in the communities are being destroyed due to unncessary lawlessness issues caused by drinking.

Illegal mining activities are contributing to social and moral decay, rise of HIV and AIDS diseases, sexually transmitted infections, divorce, multiple marriages, killing, un-necessary untimely and avoidable deaths, unfaithful marriages, laziness and many other related issues.

According to PNG’s Mining Act 1992, it states that all minerals existing on, in, or below the surface of any land in PNG, water lying in any land in PNG, are the property of the State.

But this Mining Act 1992 be comprehensively reviewed and amended, specifically such that ownership of all minerals on and below the sea is vested in the province in whose waters minerals are located.

And maybe to minimise such illegal mining activities that will lead to reduction of social problems, landowners be given greater responsibilities over their resources. Such issues are not addressed effectively and on time, we are leaving the door open for illegal miners, risking their lives at all costs, trying to grab a share of the benefits through stealing.

This is like a survival-of-the fittest game where only the strongest and the bravest men used to enter the state fortified positions and grab themselves a gram of gold. According to the law of man and of God, stealing is sin. And sin is the transgression of the law. The wages of sin is death.

Many of our illegal miners have been killed by the security forces at the mine site.

Many illegal miners are creating social havoc in our communities.

Getting money through stealing has caused so much damage in our communities.

Getting money through stealing, buying beer and drinking, we are not responsible in our drinking behaviour.

We are getting drunk and behaving like animals with no human senses.

We are creating unnecessary avoidable problems that are damaging our social harmony.

Such issues needs urgent attention by the government.

More and more awareness needs to be carried out, educating people on how to respect the law and to behave responsibly.

Many are stubborn because there is no proper education.

On that, our illiteracy rate is very high and people do not know what appropriate actions to be taken.

Therefore, my life saving advice to the illegal miners is that it is better we refrain from risking our own lives and also we need to think about the greater good of our communities.

Finally, the Government needs to urgently address this illegal mining issues because the longer it delays the more problems are created by the illegal miners in our communities.

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Illegal Intrusion Deaths Self-Inflicted – Barrick

Barrick Gold engages in some nice victim blaming rather than addressing the bigger question of why people have to resort to illegal mining to try and survive…

Post Courier | October 1, 2019

Barrick Niugini Limited (BNL), operator of the Porgera gold mine in Enga, reported that a number of illegal intruders have been seriously injured after falling from height in the open pit area of the mine.

Mine management reported that during the night of Sunday September 29, several large groups of unauthorised intruders, believed to be illegal miners, gained access to the mine’s open pit, and that a number of the intruders were injured after falling from extremely steep inclines while climbing through the area.

While separate from the earlier incident the same night in which a Porgera asset protection officer was shot and seriously wounded, all of the incidents underscore the danger to life created by illegal intrusions and the flagrant disregard for private property and law and order.

BNL executive managing director Tony Esplin confirmed that two of the intruders suffered fatal head injuries and several others have sustained serious injuries requiring urgent medical treatment, which the mine is providing.

“There were at least two separate incidents during the evening where large groups of intruders moved through extremely steep parts of the open pit that are prone to instability,” Mr Esplin said.

“Initial reports indicate that several intruders have lost their footing in these areas, with tragic consequences.

“These incidents highlight the enormous risks that intruders and unauthorized persons face when they seek illegal entry to the operational areas of the mine.

“The PJV has repeatedly warned these intruders, many of whom are from areas outside of Porgera such as Kandep, Laigam and Tari, of the hazards of conducting illegal mining in the operational areas of the mine, but sadly our warnings are not heeded.”

Mine management has noted that local reports alleging that the injured were shot or injured by police or mine security are not true, and that all of the injured had fallen from height.

“The injured persons are currently receiving medical treatment at the mine medical centre, and following further assessment by medical staff, those with more serious injuries may require transfer to hospitals elsewhere,” he said.

Barrick (Niugini) Limited has advised relevant authorities about the incidents, and will be working closely with the police and others as they investigate these events.

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