Three dead at Barrick PNG subsidiary gold mine

At least three men are dead after a confrontation between Porgera gold mine workers and illegal miners in Papua New Guinea.

Police were sent to investigate a report that two illegal miners had died after falling into the pit.

Upon arrival of the police at the the mine, fighting allegedly broke out between the two groups of miners.

"There was this confrontation from the illegal miners, those who were with those two who were deceased, and so they were dispersing them, and in the process may have been hurt, and later we found out one or two other people died from the confrontation," said PNG's Deputy Commissioner of Police Operations.

"We are sending in extra reinforcements so that we can allow the normal situation to come back and also allow the mine to operate at the normal rate."

Barrick Niugini Limited, a subsidiary of Barrick, is a 95% owner of Porgera.

An investigation in under way.