Foreign nationals hype Torokina’s gold rush

Foreign nationals have now been attracted to the latest gold rush down in Torokina South Bougainville after hearing it from friends on the ground.

Business houses in Buka have also being reported supplying huge amounts of cash to their own agents in Torokina to buy gold.

A miner in the area Arnold Johnson told PNG Loop that the number of people coming in to buy gold has now increased, especially with foreign nationals wiring money in.

“We have heard and are even seeing transaction with our own eyes coming in from overseas, especially from Western Union in our local BSP bank here in Buka,” Johnson said.

“Neighbouring villages are now empty, even villages in other mining areas like Panguna and Karato have flocked down here to Torokina,” he said.

People have now been trading boats and even cars for gold, the latest deal currently is a Toyota Land Cruiser weather it’s a five door, ten seater it is equivalent to 3 kilograms of gold which is worth around K306,000.

There has been a report of a brand new Land Cruiser being traded for gold and in the end of the day it was involved in an accident resulting in one death.

According to expert analysis the gold field in Torokina is worth around K17 million and is raw which requires a lot of processing.

The current things that are of high demand now are nitrate and mercury which the miners need to process and separate gold with.

“The latest happenings right now is people have been trading high valuable items such as laptops generators and many more items,” Johnson said.

“I can say according to my own assessment the whole of Papua New Guinea is now down here in Torokina looking for gold,” he said.

Picture: A mother panning for gold. Picture courtesy Leonard Fong Roka

Peterson Tseraha