The PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum has expressed sadness at the recent murder of a Porgera mine worker, urging the government to ensure that law and order is secure at the workplaces of commercial enterprises.

The Chamber, in a statement today, stated that the shooting death of a Porgera mine employee, working as an asset protection officer, is a serious indictment of the law and order situation prevailing at the large Porgera mine over the past three decades. 

The employee passed away in Port Moresby after having been flown there for emergency treatment and surgery.

“This is a killing that will come to the notice of many countries that host significant mining operations. It has been the subject of a joint statement by the global heads of the two big Canadian and Chinese corporations involved in the Porgera joint venture,” it stated.

The President and Chief Executive of Canada’s Barrick Gold, Mark Bristow, and the Chairman of China’s Zijin Mining, Chen Jinghe, have said they are saddened by the death of Samuel Marefa, the Porgera employee who was shot in the mine on the night of September 29. 

Mr Bristow is President of the world’s largest gold mining company with operations that span many countries. Mr Jinghe is Chairman of China’s biggest metallurgical mining operations.

The Chamber stated the police should track down and charge the individual involved in this cold-blooded murder.

“All mining companies worked very hard to maintain safety at their operations, successfully establishing safety standards that are comparable to the best standards at mines anywhere in the world.,” the Chamber stated

All our major mines, including Ok Tedi, the nation’s longest operating copper-gold mine, and Lihir Gold, the nation’s biggest gold mine, provide safe working environments for their employees. 

Unfortunately, things are much more difficult at Porgera, where the Barrick Niugini joint venture has to cope with an increasing law and order situation almost daily.

The Chamber urged the government to deal with the illegal mining issue at Porgera, alongside its considerations for extension of the Special Mining Lease application of the Barrick Niugini joint venture.

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