Rise in illegal miners

Security assessment by Police in Enga has revealed that there is an increase in illegal miners, which continues to grow unlike previous years.

Provincial Police Commander, Chief Superintendent Joseph Tondop, highlighted this after he paid a special Christmas visit to security operations in the mine areas, saying this is posing a threat to workers’ safety.

Reports of rape incidents, home brewing, murder and break-and-entering into company premises, is frequenting the surrounding mine area at Pogera Gold Mine.

According to PPC Tondop’s security assessment, these serious issues are likely to affect mining operations as illegal mining activities increase.

This has been attributed to the breakdown of government authorities and local leadership which has resulted in the escalation of serious crimes in Porgera Valley.     

In an effort to address this, the Restorative Justice Initiative Association Inc. (RJIA) set up an independent body, through a partnership arrangement with Porgera Joint Venture (PJV) and Mineral Resource Authority (MRA), to support police operation there as well.

Meanwhile, security personnel comprising local police, mobile squad and PNGDF soldiers have been commended by PPC Tondop for maintaining peace in the communities, despite the limited resources and other issues affecting their operations.

(Aerial photograph of the Porgera Gold Mine)

Sally Pokiton