Barrick suspends operations at Porgera gold mine in Papua New Guinea

18 October 2015 (Last Updated October 18th, 2015 18:30)

Barrick Gold has suspended operations at the Porgera gold mine in Papua New Guinea citing low levels of water caused by El Nino weather patterns.

Barrick Gold has suspended operations at the Porgera gold mine in Papua New Guinea citing low levels of water caused by El Nino weather patterns.

The company said that production has been halted as low levels of water were present in the Walie Creek reservoir of the mine.

Barrick managing director Greg Walker said: "The very unusual extended dry weather 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 shutdown our milling and processing plants for the time being to conserve our water supply."

"We have made the decision to shutdown our milling and processing plants for the time being to conserve our water supply."

Earlier this year, the company forecast that Porgera would yield 400,000oz-450,000oz of gold.

The Porgera JV is an open-pit and underground gold mine located at an altitude of 2,200m-2,700m in the Enga Province of Papua New Guinea.

It is roughly 130km west of Mount Hagen and 600km north-west of the capital Port Moresby.

The JV is operated and 95% owned by Barrick (Niugini), with the remaining 5% interest split between Mineral Resources Enga, comprising the Enga provincial government (2.5%) and local landowners (2.5%).

Barrick Gold and China's Zijin Mining Group equally own 50% of Barrick (Niugini).