5 May 2008

Mines being developed in PNG shut down amid violent conflict

3:16 pm on 5 May 2008

The South African mining giant, Harmony Gold Mining, has shut down its Papua New Guinea Hidden Valley and Wafi gold mines because of an ongoing conflict between locals.

The mines in Morobe Province, on PNG's north-east coast, were shut to protect workers and equipment under threat from rival groups.

PNG police have been called in following the ongoing disputes with landowners and workers that saw 12 injuries from surprise attacks last week.

PNG's Post Courier newspaper reports Harmony has shut down its goldfields for two weeks due to the rising tensions.

The Hidden Valley project is in its final construction stage while the Wafi project was entering its final stage of feasibility study before a planned construction next year.