11 Jun 2014

PNG landowner says miner out of control

6:38 pm on 11 June 2014

A landowner in Porgera in Papua New Guinea says the Canadian mining company, Barrick Gold, is out of control and is acting as a law unto itself.

A police raid of a village bordering the mine on Friday saw up to 200 homes burnt to the ground.

The area has been under a state of emergency for the past month, with extra security forces deployed over concerns of illegal mining.

But a spokesperson for the Porgera Landowners Association, Jethro Tulin, says he believes the raid was ordered by Barrick to clear the landowners, instead of signing an agreement with them to resettle and compensate.

"Barrick is acting like the state and it's getting out of control at the moment. We are basically saying Barrick must become a party to the Porgera agreement, if it does not want to become a party then they must get out of the country or get out of the place if they don't want to listen and act like good corporate citizens."

Jethro Tulin.

In a statement, Barrick Gold's subsidiary Porgera Joint Venture says it has received reports that a number of structures at Wingima village near the mine have been removed by police.

It says mine personnel were not involved in the operations of the special police deployment.