12 Jun 2014

Barrick Gold sought restraining order against PNG landowners

7:39 pm on 12 June 2014

A mining watchdog says the Canadian miner Barrick Gold sought a restraining order against landowners just before a police raid in Papua New Guinea's Porgera district.

Community leaders say hundreds of houses were burnt to the ground during the raid on Friday on Wingima village, which borders the Porgera mine.

Amelia Langford reports.

"MiningWatch Canada spokesperson, Catherine Coumans, says she understands Barrick rejected a Memorandum of Agreement with landowners that included full resettlement before it applied for the restraining order. 'A restraining order was actually asked for by the local management of Barrick in PNG against the Porgera Landowners Association and its president Mark Tony Ekepa so this restraining order was called for on the fifth of June and then on the morning of the sixth of June of course the houseburning started.' Barrick Gold has confirmed it has an injunction against the Porgera Landowners Association but says it's unrelated to the raid. It says the injunction is in response to threats to close down the mine made during the review of the Memorandum of Agreement. It says the agreement is only between the state of PNG and Porgera landowners."