More power pylons felled

National, Normal

MORE power pylons were felled in Tari yesterday, causing havoc to operations at the Porgera gold mine in Enga province.
Barrick (PNG) Ltd confirmed that five more power pylons had been vandalised yesterday.
This brings to eight the number of pylons brought down.
Last Friday, three pylons were hit, disrupting power supply to the Porgera mine from the Hides Gas power station.
The pylons were allegedly destroyed by people unhappy with being left out of the benefits sharing arrangement for landowners in the PNG LNG project.
Dr Ila Temu, Barrick’s director for corporate affairs (Australia/Pacific), said yesterday: “Despite that, the open pit and underground mine continue to operate normally while processing activities are restricted due to limited electrical power available from site generators.”
He said repair work on the three power pylons vandalised earlier would soon be completed.
However, with the recent vandalism of five more power pylons, it could take another three to six days before full production commences, he said.
“Such senseless acts of vandalism are affecting the operations of the mine,” Dr Temu added.
Bad weather was also slowing repair efforts by Porgera Joint Venture workmen.
Southern Highlands Governor Anderson Agiru called on his people to refrain from such acts of vandalism.
Mr Agiru said if people were unhappy at being left out of the licence-based benefits sharing agreement, they should not be because the Southern Highlands provincial government and Hela (after 2012) province would cater for all of them.
“No one will be left out,” he assured.
“I have made this clear already. There is no need for all this.
“Porgera and PJV have nothing to do with this.
“Such vandalism only paints a bad picture of the province and country,” Mr Agiru said.