Armed men threaten Porgera employees

Barrick (Niugini) Limited (BNL), operator of the Porgera Mine in Enga, reports that another firearm-related incident has occurred at the Porgera Mine.

The company confirms that an armed group of intruders attempted to hold up two mineworkers driving a mine vehicle near the Porgera Open Pit on Sunday afternoon.

The mineworkers were travelling between operating sites on the Porgera Mine to move mining equipment during mid-afternoon on Sunday 3 June when they were confronted by a number of intruders, one of whom threatened the employees with a firearm.

When the mine vehicle slowed to avoid the intruders, a number of the suspects jumped onto the back of the vehicle in an attempt to steal mine equipment however, they were unsuccessful due to the quick reactions of the mine employees, who rapidly accelerated away from the area and alerted mine security personnel.

Mine management have confirmed that whilst Porgera mine employees were not injured in the incident, the confrontation was a continuation of the dangerous escalation of firearm-related incidents that have occurred at the mine in recent months.

“This is just the latest in a number of gun-related incidents that have occurred on the mining lease in recent months,” a spokesman for the mine said.

“The fact that violent criminals are prepared to come onto the mine carrying weapons and intending to rob or harm our employees and members of our neighbouring communities is of critical concern, and we are calling on State authorities to provide urgent assistance in bringing this under control.

“It is simply unacceptable that these criminals believe they can behave in this way with impunity - this escalation of violence needs to be stopped before someone is killed or injured.”

Mine management noted that they have advised the relevant authorities about the attempted robbery, and will be working closely with the police and others in responding to this latest firearm-related incident.

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Press release