K92 resumes underground production

The Kainantu Gold Mine recommenced underground production late in September after a resolution was signed between landowners, K92 Mining Inc. and the Mineral Resources Authority.

This follows the temporary halt on production after an arson attack by landowners which resulted in millions of kina worth of damages.

K92 announced that following the resolution, full return to production was expected by October.

The arson attack was a result of discontent by the Bilimoia Interim Landowner Association (BILA) who claimed outstanding issues had not been settled by the company.

The MRA immediately stepped in to find a resolution to address the issues which primarily surrounded the commercial arrangement for the catering, security and transportation services, which as per the beneficiary agreement, they would operate.

Secondary issues included employment and training, compensation and a review of the beneficiary agreement, among others.

MRA managing director, Philip Samar, called the attack a huge blow on investor confidence.

However, after several meetings, all parties agreed and signed a resolution paving way for the mine to recommence underground production.

In statement, K92 Mining Inc. stated that it acknowledged Samar, Mining Minister Johnson Tuke, BLA executives, the Eastern Highlands Provincial and Kainantu Local Level Government for the considerable work to achieve a satisfactory resolution.

K92 chief executive officer, John Lewins, said: “The signing of the resolution with the Bilimoia Interim Landowner Association (BILA) addresses the underlying issues with the landowners and allows the company to focus on building up production from underground operations to target commercial production in the near term.”

He added: “We look forward to a strengthening relationship with BILA, its members and our other landowner groups and working with them to realise the opportunities that this project will provide for all involved.”

(Picture: Future Money Trends)

Cedric Patjole