Illegal mining atthe Porgera Gold mine inthe Enga Province continues to trouble operator, Berrick. Bet it will not deterthe Mine from delivering on its community responsibilities.
Illegal mining has been one ofthe major issues that have always added tothe complexities ofthe Porgera gold mine operations overthe years.
Illegal miners are an everyday site inthe mines open pit andtheir intrusion continuous to pose great security risks for not onlythemselves but mine workers as well.
The Porgera mines Illegal Mining Control Unit’setup in 2008 monitorsthe number of illegal miner incursions into pitowaste dump and stock piles.
It reports that in 2012,there were on average about 4000 illegal miners breaking intothe open pit area.
The mine has always taken a proactive approach to addressingthe problem of illegal mining. Safe work practices are non-negotiable andthe issue of illegal mining has primarily been one of safety.
The mine'’s Community and Social Responsibility (CSR) Department has embarked on initiatives that include awareness programs drivingthe message of safety. The mine’s face behindthe IM campaign is Thomas Petale- a former illegal miner who lost his leg in a rock fall incidentowho works as an awareness officer for illegal mining with mine.
Whilethe mine continues to operate and deliver on its social responsibilities and obligations, EGM Greg Walker saidthey are aware that illegal mining will not disappear completely and as a mining operation are prepared for this. Illegal mining he said is a complex and difficult issue to manage.
Berrick implements strict safety rules and procedures in all areas of its operations to control and minimize risks.
Eunice Taumomoa, National EMTV News