Govt urged to maintain law, order


THE Papua New Guinea Chamber of Mines and Petroleum is urging the Government to ensure that law and order is maintained at the workplaces of commercial enterprises.
The chamber said this in a statement yesterday following the recent murder of a Porgera mine worker in Enga on Sept 29.
It stated that the shooting death of a Porgera asset protection officer was a serious indictment of the prevailing law and order situation at the Porgera mine over the past three decades.
The employee passed away in Port Moresby after being airlifted there for surgery.
“This is a killing that will come to the notice of many countries that host significant mining operations,” the chamber said.
“It has been the subject of a joint statement by the global heads of the two big Canadian and Chinese corporations involved in the Porgera joint venture.”
Barrick Gold president and chief executive Mark Bristow and Zijin Mining chairman Chen Jinghe said they were saddened by the death of Samuel Marefa, the Porgera employee who was shot in the mine on Sept 29.
The chamber called on the police to investigate the killing and bring the killer to justice. “All mining companies worked very hard to maintain safety at their operations, successfully establishing safety standards that are comparable to the best standards at mines anywhere in the world,” the chamber said.
“All our major mines, including Ok Tedi, the nation’s longest operating copper and gold mine and Lihir Gold, the nation’s biggest gold mine, provide safe working environments for their employees.
“Unfortunately, things are much more difficult at Porgera, where the Barrick Niugini joint venture has to cope with an increasing law and order situation almost daily.”
The chamber urged the Government to deal with the illegal mining issue at Porgera, alongside its considerations for extension of the special mining lease application of the Barrick Niugini joint venture.

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