22 Oct 2011

Porgera report seen as wake-up call for PNG mine operators

11:40 am on 22 October 2011

The executive director of a mining watchdog says this month's report on the Porgera gold mine is another reminder to Papua New Guinea mine operators they must do something about their activities.

The report by the Porgera Alliance, which represents landowners near the mine, cited human rights abuses including killings, rape and torture as well as health issues created by the mine operation.

But the mine operators, Barrick Gold Corporation and the Porgera Joint Venture, have dismissed the report and say its content is based on inaccurate information.

The executive director of the Australian-based Mineral Policy Institute, Charles Roche, says the report should be another prompt to the mine operators.

"That there is a problem. That people are dying and that they need to be resettled. And until the company takes action, groups like the Porgera Alliance will need to write these reports and keep pushing the company and the PNG government to take action."

Charles Roche says he hopes the new government will do something about making the mine operators live up to their obligations in the face of gross human rights abuses at the mine.