El Nino halts Papua New Guinea gold mine-Barrick – by James Regan (Reuters U.S. – October 19, 2015)


Oct 19 Operations at the Porgera gold mine in Papua New Guinea have been suspended due to drought conditions, part owner Barrick Gold said on Monday, the latest mine in the Asia-Pacific to be disrupted by El Nino-induced dry weather.

Production had been halted due to low levels of water in the mine’s reservoir, used in processing the raw ore, operator Barrick (Niugini) Ltd said in a statement to Reuters.

“Some water-intensive production activities at the mine have been temporarily suspended during this extended dry season, and we are using this opportunity to bring forward some scheduled maintenance activities,” it said.

“The very unusual extended dry conditions that we have seen in recent months have meant that our supplies of production water have run very low, and we have made the decision to shut down our milling and processing plants for the time being to conserve our water supplies.”

Barrick earlier this year forecast Porgera would yield 400,000-450,000 ounces of gold in 2015, down from its peak years of around 900,000 ounces when it was regarded as one of the world’s foremost deposits.

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