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Illegal mining an obstacle to operations

Staff Reporter | 8:17 PM |
ILLEGAL mining in Porgera mine in Enga continues to be one of the major challenges facing the operator, a mine executive says.
Dr Illa Temu, the Porgera mine’s executive director, gave an update on the operation of the mine during the PNG Mining and Petroleum conference in Port Moresby.
“Incursions into the mine site create a situation of concern across the mine site including safety issues, social and tribal conflict, and increase in crime,” Temu said.
“The situation is being carefully considered with security management programmes and the call-out intervention.”
He said a gradual restoration of law and order was being realised in Porgera due to an effective control of illegal mining
He blamed people from outside Porgera looking for quick cash of being behind illegal mining.
“We don’t purely blame the genuine landowners for illegal mining but outsiders who were looking for quick money were behind this illegal activity,” he said.
Temu said a state of emergency had assisted in maintaining law and order in Porgera.
He said the decline in gold price meant that the operation had to be focused on what it could control to ensure it remained profitable and cash-positive.
“The decline in gold prices means that the operation has to focus on what it can control to ensure it remains profitable and cash positive,” he said.
“Operating cost reductions and savings have been identified.
“Between 10 per cent and 15 per cent reduction in operating costs is targeted in 2016 and it could be realised if there is no illegal mining.”