Canadian gold miner, New Guinea Gold, has stopped work at its Sinivit site in East New Britain in Papua New Guinea after landowner groups occupied the mine site.
The company says it was advised by lawyers of the Lulai Nakama Association of the landowners' concerns over outstanding royalties.
In a letter on December the 12th the lawyers had warned the landowners would shut down the operation if the company failed to pay the royalties.
The company says the royalties have been released, but the protestors continue to occupy the site.
New Guinea Gold is seeking court orders for their removal before pursuing a negotiated settlement with the Lulai Nakama Association.
The company says it has also received a second demand for the payment of compensation for environmental damage the landowners attribute to the mining.