Australian gold mining firm halts exploration in Indonesia


AN Australian gold mining exploration company said yesterday it had halted activities at a project in Indonesia, after a violent protest at a nearby port last week that left two people dead.

Two men were killed and about 20 injured on December 24 when police opened fire on hundreds of anti-mining demonstrators who for several days had been occupying Sape port on the island of Sumbawa.

Arc Exploration Limited (ARX), whose Bima exploration licence covers some 250 square kilometres of the island, said demonstrators had stated they wanted its exploration rights revoked.

"While ARX remains in full compliance with all legal, regulatory and licence requirements, the company has halted exploration activities at its Bima Project until the situation is resolved," it said in a statement.

Arc managing director John Carlile said the company "regrets the loss of life and injury that was suffered during the events of 24 December."

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