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Barrick Says 10 People Killed in Papua New Guinea Mine Mudslide

by Jesse RiseboroughBloomberg
December 6th, 2008

Barrick Gold Corp., the world�s biggest gold producer, said 10 people died after a mudslide swept over an exploration camp near its Kainantu mine in Papua New Guinea on Dec. 4.

�It was basically a mudslide caused by extreme rainfall at a remote exploration accommodation camp,� Celina Watt, a spokeswoman for the Toronto-based company, said today by telephone from Perth, Australia. The fatalities included five local villagers and five employees of Barrick, she said.

Barrick acquired the Kainantu gold mine and exploration assets for $141.5 million last year from Highlands Pacific Ltd. About 40 people are still missing after the mudslide, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported today on its Web site.

�Most of the debris has now been cleared from the impact area,� Joc O�Rourke, president of Barrick�s Australia Pacific unit, said today in an e-mailed statement. �All our people have been accounted for, but search efforts will continue today with assistance from the PNG government�s disaster response office and a search and rescue team from Australia.�

Australia is sending two handlers and sniffer dogs, two search and rescue workers, a paramedic and a representative of Australian Emergency Services to the site today following a request from the Papua New Guinea government, Watt said.

Kainantu is located 180 kilometers (112 miles) west of the port city of Lae in the Eastern Highlands province in Papua New Guinea. The mudslide hit the Kora exploration camp at 5:45 p.m. local time on Dec. 4, the statement said.


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