Injured mine worker passes away

The shareholders of Barrick (Niugini) Limited, operator of the Porgera Mine in Enga, have expressed their sadness at the passing away of a mine employee.

He was fatally injured in a shooting incident at the mine on the night of 29 September.

The President and Chief Executive Officer of Barrick Gold, Mark Bristow, and the Chairman of Zijin Mining, Chen Jinghe, made the following comments this morning: “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 gunshot injury on the night of 29 September.

“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, Samuel has 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 have 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.”

Bristow and 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.

Press release