The Wafi gold project in the Bulolo district of Morobe Province has been shut down by disgruntled landowners.
Two landowner groups forced operations at Wafi to shut down after they took offence at the Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, failing to turn up to receive a petition.
The Post Courier reports that the Yanta and Hengambu groups had demanded Sir Michael explain why a new Lands Titles Commission had been appointed when the land matter was dealt with by the courts.
The non-attendance by the Prime Minister provoked the Yanta and Hengambu landowners into shutting down the multi-million-kina project until that decision is revoked.
A spokesman for the Hengambu Landowners Association, John Nema, says the no show was a disgrace and a slap on the face of the Wafi people.