Barrick says Porgera mine continues to operate after illegal miners killed

Wed Dec 4, 2013 11:35pm EST
 
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MELBOURNE Dec 5 (Reuters) - Barrick Gold Corp's Porgera gold mine in Papua New Guinea continues to operate after two illegal miners were killed there in a confrontation with police, a company spokesman said on Thursday.

An Australian media report had quoted a deputy police commissioner as saying the mine was closed. The mine produced 370,000 ounces of the gold in the first three quarters of the year.

The confrontation took place after a large crowd of illegal miners had gathered at the mine, Barrick said in a statement and the Porgera Alliance, an alliance of landowners and human rights defenders, reported on its website.

Barrick, 95 percent owner of the gold mine in a joint venture with the PNG government, said it was unclear how the miners were killed, but said none of its own security workers were involved in the confrontation.

Police are investigating the incident, Barrick said.