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Workers lose jobs as company cuts losses

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, January 27, 2009) – The Kainantu gold mine, located in Papua New Guinea’s Eastern Highlands Province has been shut down.

Owner of the mine, Barrick (PNG) Limited decided to suspend mining operations last Wednesday because it was not making money and all employees, except for small number of people, were stood down.

"Barrick have decided to suspend mining operations at Kainantu, until a decision is made on the future of the mine. As a result of this decision only a small number of employees currently remain on site," spokesman for Barrick," Patrick Bindon said in a statement released yesterday.

Mr. Bindon said the Kainantu operations had not been performing to expectations for some time and the decision to suspend operations came after all short term opportunities to turn Kainantu into a profitable operation had been exhausted based on existing market conditions.

"Barrick is currently reviewing various options for the mine with the PNG government, which includes potentially placing the operations into a period of care and maintenance, subject to approval by the appropriate regulatory agencies.

"The company will continue to invest in the Kainantu area and will pursue a comprehensive local exploration program," Bindon said.

He said Barrick’s commitment to Papua New Guinea remained strong and the company would continue to operate the world-class Porgera gold mine and fund significant exploration activities in the country.

Papua New Guinea Post-Courier:

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