29 Mar 2005

PNG gold mine stakeholders work to drive home dangers of illegal mining

8:13 pm on 29 March 2005

The Enga provincial government in Papua New Guinea says they're working with a mining company to do all they can to prevent gold scavengers from dying.

At least a dozen people have fallen to their deaths, or died during confrontations with security, since the mine opened in 1990.

The provincial government has a five per cent share in the consortium which runs the mine.

The administrator for Enga province, Dr Samson Amean, says they're trying to drive home to locals, the dangers of illegal mining.

"The Porgera Joint Venture has gone higher to do everything possible, from educating the people, talking to our local councils, churches, women's groups, youth groups, and even going into the villages, telling them that it was very dangerous for the people."

Dr Amean says he's seen dozens of illegal miners hanging on to cliffs, as he put it, like flying foxes, moments after workers pull back to blast the rock wall.