A huge copper and gold mining project being developed in Morobe Province in Papua New Guinea has been shut down.

The management of the Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture suspended exploration activity after a group, claiming to be landowners, had threatened on Friday to enter the site.

According to the Post Courier newspaper the group is opposed to a memorandum of understanding signed by the PNG government and the developer last month.

Activities at the exploration site are currently suspended pending assurances that law and order has been re-established.

The Mining Minister Johnson Tuke said the shutdown was uncalled for and the behaviour of the group protesting was a criminal act.

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