GOLD PRODUCTION AT PNG'S PORGERA MINE DROPS

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DUE TO DROUGHT

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (October 19, 1997 - PACNEWS)--- Gold production at Papua New Guinea's Porgera gold mine dropped significantly during the 1997 July - September quarter because of prolonged dry weather.

The Porgera Joint Venture (PJV), in a report, attributed the reduction to milling operations being shut down or reduced during the dry spell.

It says a total of 26 days of full mill production were lost and, during 18 days, the mill operated at reduced capacity due to water shortages.

PJV says gold production was 165,956 ounces for the quarter and 549,932 ounces for the the first nine months of 1997 through September 30, compared with 213,560 ounces and 604,314 ounces respectively during the corresponding periods last year.

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