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Protests in the wake of Ivory Coast's disputed elections. (AFP)

Newcrest halts Ivory Coast, Indonesia mines

Reuters | Tue, 21 Dec 2010 09:27

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[] -- AUSTRALIA's Newcrest Mining has put work at its Bonikro gold mine in Ivory Coast on ice and moved mine management to Ghana amid election tensions in the region, although the company said no threats had been made to the mine or staff.

Separately, Newcrest said parts of its Kencana underground mine at Gosowong on Halmahera island in Indonesia, jointly owned with PT Aneka Tambang , was blocked after a mudstone movement, which trapped two workers.

"Precautionary measures are in place to ensure the safety and security of all employees," Newcrest said about the Ivory Coast situation.

Violence has claimed over 50 lives since the contested election November 28.

The bulk of the mine management relocated to nearby Accra in Ghana and the mine is being managed from there, with security and local employees maintaining the site in preparation for a resumption of operations as soon as possible, Newcrest said.

The mine produces around 120,000 ounces of gold per year.

In Indonesia, the two workers were trapped on Sunday by moving mudstone. Both men are unharmed and receiving water and food via a number of holes drilled into the area but it will take several days to rescue them.

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