LOW PRICES MAY FORCE EARLY END TO PNG’S PORGERA GOLD MINE

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (December 25, 2000 - Post-Courier/PINA Nius Online)---Low gold prices combined with high fuel costs and low gold productivity could force the early closure of the world-class Porgera gold mine, a senior company executive said.

According to Mike Fisher, the mine’s superintendent and acting general manager, the mine’s life could be shortened by five to eight years.

Mr. Fisher told Highlands governors visiting the mine that this meant the mine only had about seven years of operation left.

He told governors Father Louis Ambane of Chimbu, Father Robert Lak of Western Highlands, Peti Lafanama of Eastern Highlands and host governor Peter Ipatas that plans for the mine’s closure were in progress.

According to Porgera Joint Venture community relations coordinator Jack Scott, the mine is looking at developing sustainable projects to help the local people after the mine’s productive life ends. He said the mine had already started two coffee plantations and several women’s projects.

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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