THREE MEN KILLED AT PORGERA GOLD MINE IN NEW GUINEA AFTER CONFRONTATION WITH ILLEGAL MINERS

Police in Papua New Guinea say at least three miners have been killed after a disturbance at the Porgera gold mine site in Enga province.

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They say the trouble started when a mobile police squad was deployed to the mine to investigate the deaths of two illegal miners who fell into a pit.

PNG’s Deputy Commissioner of Police Operations Simon Kauba says a confrontation took place when officers arrived.

“There was this confrontation from the illegal miners, those who were with those two who were deceased, and so they were dispersing them, and in the process may have been hurt, and later we found out one or two other people died from the confrontation,” he said.

Mr Kauba says extra police have been sent to the mine, which remains temporarily closed.

“[The] situation is not looking good but it is brought under control,” he said.

“We are sending in extra reinforcements so that we can allow the normal situation to come back and also allow the mine to operate at the normal rate.”

Barrick Niugini Limited, the Canadian company that owns the mine, says “no security staff were reported to have taken part in the incident resulting in the fatality.”

In separate incidents two mine personnel were attacked and injured by groups of illegal miners, Barrick said in a statement.

Spokesman Greg Walker says the company had earlier asked for police help to remove illegal miners who were massing in large numbers at the mine’s open pit area.

The company says it is investigating the incident and its causes.

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Henry Sapiecha

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