17 Jan 2006

Strike shuts core operations at PNG's giant Porgera gold mine

5:11 pm on 17 January 2006

A report from Papua New Guinea says all core operations at the giant Porgera Gold Mine have been shut down owing to strike action by workers.

The Post Courier newspaper reports Papua New Guinean workers have been flown out and the only people remaining are pay officers, power workers, catering services and a few management staff.

A source told the newspaper that last Thursday morning, the gates to the national staff compound were locked by mine security officers and police to keep the workers inside.

The company then hired helicopters to fly people out from the compound to airstrips to be flown out to their provinces.

Workers launched industrial action to protest against what they say will be cuts to benefits if Barrick Gold of Canada takes over Placer Dome's stake in the joint venture.