3 Sep 2007

PNG Government sends in police and labour experts to try and end Lihir blockade

7:41 pm on 3 September 2007

The Papua New Guinea Government says it sent police to Lihir in New Ireland to ensure that a blockade at the huge Australian-owned gold mine did not develop into a confrontation.

The Mining Minister Dr Puka Temu says grievances were raised by about 40 workers who managed to shut down mining activity through a blockade, using heavy machinery.

He says they have sent in police along with labour relations officials to try and help settle the dispute.

"We would want to give confidence to our investors that we would want to take control of some of these issues and help the companies to manage them, and therefore mobilize the police personnel and the industrial relations personnel to go over and help the company to address and negotiate those issues."

The CEO of the company, Arthur Hood, is due in New Ireland tomorrow.