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Protest forces AngloGold Ashanti to suspend Guinea gold mine

South African miner AngloGold Ashanti suspended its gold mining operations in Guinea after a community protested on its Siguiri mining site, its Guinea subsidiary Societe Aurifère de Guinee (SAG) said in a statement.

Adds details, quote from resident

CONAKRY, Nov 16 (Reuters) - South African miner AngloGold Ashanti ANGJ.J suspended its gold mining operations in Guinea after a community protested on its Siguiri mining site, its Guinea subsidiary Societe Aurifère de Guinee (SAG) said in a statement.

Protesters from the Fatoyah community invaded the site on Friday, erected barricades and disrupted production in order to demand the tarring of a road. SAG had to suspend its operations to safeguard its staff and property, the company said.

"There is a tacit agreement between SAG and the villagers ... to tar this road," resident Moussa Condé told Reuters by telephone.

AngloGold Ashanti spokesperson Stewart Bailey said the company is in talks with community leaders to resolve the dispute.

A 30 km (18.6 mile) tarred road linking the towns of Siguiri and Kintinian was recently completed, he said. The project was a partnership between the government and AngloGold Ashanti.

The suspension puts a halt to all extraction and processing activities at the mine and pauses sub-contracting services to SAG. Only a skeleton staff will remain on site, SAG said.

AngloGold Ashanti owns 85% of SAG, whose Siguiri mine produced 242,000 ounces (6.9 tonnes) of gold in 2018.

(Reporting by Saliou Samb in Conakry and Helen Reid in Johannesburg, Editing by David Evans)

((Helen.Reid@thomsonreuters.com; +44 20 7542 0402;))

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