Madang government confirms Ramu nickel acid pollution

“Rain water is not safe for human consumption even from creeks and rivers”

Villagers face effects of smoke

The National aka The Loggers Times

COASTAL villages near Ramu Nickel plant site in Basamuk, Rai Coast, in Madang, are experiencing the effects of harmful smoke from the mine.

A report by Madang provincial government Director of Mines John Bivi revealed that villagers in Malalmai and Bongu had noticed thick fumes and smelt acid.

Taro plant damaged by the gas

Taro plant damaged by the gas

The report stated that according to assessments done, plants and food crops, especially banana, taro and yam leaves, had withered because of the effects of the acid.

Villagers along the Rai Coast have complained of skin diseases.  But Bivi said they would have to be medically tested to confirm the cause.

“Rain water is not safe for human consumption even from creeks and rivers,” Bivi said.

He suggested that a medical team visit Basamuk to check and treat people affected by the smoke and smell.

He urged Government bodies to continuously monitor mining activities at Ramu Nickel project sites at Kurumbukari and Basamuk.

No comment could be obtained from the mine project owners.

He said the court order on the deep sea tailings placement  (DSTP) required a quarterly monitoring and awareness programme every year and that was not done in last quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of

He said the Government must set up an Office in Basamuk to monitor and assess the harmful smoke.

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Solomon Islands Gavman i wari long plen blong pasim main long Gold Ridge

Caroline Tiriman | Radio Australia

Solomon Islands Gavman i wari tru long bihain taem blong Gold Ridge main bihainim ol tingting blong St. Barbara kampani long pasim main.

Disasta i bagarapim Honiara taun na Guadalcanal Plains, Solomon Islands.

Disasta i bagarapim Honiara taun na Guadalcanal Plains, Solomon Islands.

Gavman blong Solomon Islands i wari tru long bihaen taem oa future blong Gold Ridge mine bihaenim tingting blong kampani blong Australia, St Barbara long pasim main na rausim olgeta wokman na meri long main.

Gold Ridge main ibin wanpla long ol bisnis i bungim heve long disasta.

Kampani ibin tokaut olsem oli bin pasim main long wonem ol tait wara ibin bagarapim bris em ol i save iusim blong go ikam long Honiara siti.

Narapla samting em oli tok ibin fosim ol long pasim main, em ol i wari long sekuriti  blong ol wokman na tu ol masin na blong main.

Praim Minista Gordon Darcy Lilo i bekim displa ol tingtng blong kampani taem em igo raun long God Ridge eria long Sande.

Tokman blongen, George Hemming husait igo pas long Communications Unit long Ofis blong Praim Minista i tok makim displa ol toktok blong em long tok em i wari long displa ol tingting bikos main i stap antap long mauden na wara ino kisim em.

“Main eria ia istap antap long mauden na wanpla samting tasol i stopim wok, em long bris i kontekim Gold Ridge wantaim rot igo long Honiara taun,” em ibin tok.

Tasol CEO blong kampani, Tim Lehaney i tokim Pacific Beat olsem planti ol arapla samting i mekim ol long pasim pastaem main, na ino long bris tasol.

“Kaikai ibin sot, fuel tu na mipla tu i wari long wok sekuriti long bikpla namba blong ol wok man meri blong mipla.”

Tasol Praim Minista Gordon Darcy Lilo i tok em ino wanbel wantaem displa kaen toktok.

George Hemming itok, tok makim toktok blong Praim Minista olsem “displa ol toktok ino sidaun gut wantaem em.”

“Praim Minista i askim strong olsem St Barbara imas holim miting wantaem gavman long bihain taem blong main bihainim displa disasta.”

Tony Koraua, foma Siaman na bod memba blong f the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce i tokim Caroline Tiriman, kampani imas wok wantaem gavman long stretim displa isu.

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Highlands Pacific: Glencore PNG option terminated

Mining Business

Highlands terminated Glencore Xstrata’s option over a prospective copper-gold exploration tenement in PNG’s Star Mountains, a day after it missed the deadline to exercise the 10-year-old option.

With 100% ownership of the Nong River project, Highlands plans to advance talks with new partners to advance a package of leases near the Ok Tedi mine.

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Manetoali: No mining in Isabel

Denver Newter | Solomon Star

Isabel does not want the destruction that comes with mining

Isabel does not want the massive destruction that comes with large-scale mining

Member of Parliament (MP) for Gao/Bugotu constituency Samuel Manetoali says Isabel province would not allow mining operation on the island.

He highlighted this during a visit by a delegation from the Solomon Islands visitors bureau (SIVB) to parts of the province last week.

Mr Manetoali was part of the delegation which conducted their visit from Buala to Kaola.

He told the Solomon Star at Kaolo Resort which is located at the western tip of San George Island in Isabel that chiefs and elders around the island would not allow mining industry on Isabel.

“Isabel province is rich in minerals but our island is not interested in mining.

“Our focus now is on tourism with more people are now venturing into this industry because its safe and non-destructive for our people and will last long,” he said.

He claimed most of the leaders and chiefs in the province have supported the idea.

“We would not invite mining to Isabel because we have seen massive destructions caused by mining in other parts of the country and abroad.”

He said the province has encouraged most of its people to venture into tourism.

“Logging and mining would go but tourism would still remain for many years to come therefore leaders in Isabel would not allow mine to operate here.”

Currently Axiom and Sumitomo are two foreign companies that are currently conducting nickel prospecting on the island.

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Canadian envoy visits Pogera gold mine

Post Courier

image001Canadian High Commission counselor and senior trade commissioner Mike Lazaruk now has a better understanding about the operations at the Porgera gold mine following a two-day visit.

He recently visited the Porgera gold mine, which is Canadian-based Barrick Gold Corporation’s biggest investment in PNG in the company of Canadian envoy to the Pacific Island Countries (PIC) Michael Small.

“We certainly came away with a better understanding of the environment within which you operate, the challenges that you face and the programs that you have in place to engage with and support the surrounding communities,” Mr Lazaruk commented after returning to Canbera, Australia.

Their visit included meeting with the Porgera mine management, community leaders from the special mining lease and lease for mining purposes areas, Porgera community and the local level government representatives, NGO advocates Akali Tange Association and Porgera Alliance, Porgera Development Authority, District administration, local businesses and institutional leaders.

High Commissioner to the PIC Mr Small, during the visit said it was a good idea to go to the mine and get a sense of the operation, environmental issues, social issues, local communities concerns, how they see the valley changing and develop with the presence of Barrick.

The high commissioner with Barrick country executive director Dr Ila Temu also visited two mine villages, Kulapi and Panandaka, to see the water supply project initiated by the Barrick community relations department.

They also toured the mine operation including the open pit tour and visit to the Kogai rehabilitation site where Barrick Porgera was putting efforts towards land reclamation. This is apart from presentations by the Porgera leadership team (PTL) led by executive general manager (PNG) Greg Walker.

Mr Lazaruk said they were very appreciative of Porgera’s hospitality and described their trip as a memorable one.

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Stop thinking of Ramu-Nico as an Asian company – says PNG Oreo Cookie

Bismarck Ramu Group

oreoI recall as a young student reading about Black Americans. As they were fighting for their rights in the USA some of them would sell out to the whites and tell their own black brothers & sisters to , in reality, obey their white masters. These black sell outs were called Oreo Cookies. Oreo cookies have white cream between two chocolate biscuits. Thus a black person being called an oreo was because they were black on the outside but white inside.  We have the cookies here in PNG.

We also have the other Oreos here – plenty. Those who sell our people, land, resources out to outsider. Oh yes they look like PNGeans on the outside, but on the inside they don’t care about their people – not really.

We tried to find a cookie with yellow on the inside  (ie: Chinese) surrounded by two chocolate biscuits but couldn’t find any. So until we find one such cookie we’ll refer to those like Jeffers Teargun Heptol as a PNG grown Oreo cookie.

So the WORLD CLASS Ramu Nickel Mine is so desperate and think PNGeans are so stupid they bring in an Oreo Cookie, who has lived 10 years in Kong Land to TELL THE PEOPLE of ALL the wonderful things and GREAT POTENTIAL of the Ramu Nico Mine. Oreo Heptol goes on about great potential to provide tangible benefits. Oh yea Jeffers – like what? Who the hell do you think is going to buy this bullshit?

He goes on to say “our people (see everyone he IS one of us) have the perception that MCC-Ramu Nico is an Asian company. OH YES HE DID EVERYONE! That’s what the Oreo said. Now he continues -this should explain things (NOT!) “They must be in it with Ramu Ncio and work closely with the company.” Huh!!!! Must be in it!

Oreo Hepto said he knew WELL how the Chinese people operated (OBVIOUSLY Mr. Hepto!) their culture and language. Then he tried to impress us by ONCE AGAIN using the same Chinese word all the Oreos bring back – Guanxi. The kong word for relationship. Now Oreo Hepto you have probably forgotten after ten years in kongville, but we PNGeans know a bit about realtionships. Our entire cultures were built on them. They are the centre of what it is to be Melanesian. You’ve obviously forgotten or believe the nonsense about us being backwards or kanakas or whatever they are filling your head with.

Oreo Hepto ends the sorry ass talk with this – ready??? “Leaders should divert their perception of MCC being a Chinese company and shift the paradigm and work with MCC-Ramu NiCo”. In other words. In other words the kongs got the Oreo to try to make us believe that stop thinking of the Chinese as money hungry people who treat our people like shit and have no respect for anything unless they can proposer financially.

Right Mr. Hepto – right. Go enjoy your noodles Oreo.

Below is the article published in the Rimbunan Hijau owned Daily Log (Aka The National) newspaper – And you all thought we made this stuff up!!!!! Nope can’t make nonsense like this up friends.

Leaders urged to work with mine firm
Source: The National, Monday April 14th, 2014
MADANG leaders should work closely with owners of the Ramu NiCo project to benefit the people, Jeffers Teargun Heptol says.
Heptol is a PNG citizen who has been living in China for 10 years.
He said the project had great potential to provide tangible benefits to the people in the province, especially in the under-developed Rai Coast and Usino-Bundi districts, where the project’s refinery and mine sites were located.
The project covers three-quarters of the Madang landmass, including Usino-Bundi, Rai Coast and Madang.
He said provincial leaders should use the opportunity to generate more development.
“Our people have the perception that MCC-Ramu NiCo is an Asian company and the leaders must get themselves out of that thinking,” he said.
“They must be in it with Ramu NiCo and work closely with the company,” Heptol said.
Heptol said he knew well how the Chinese people operated, their culture and language.
He said the Chinese were always looking at “Guanxi” (relationship) which local leaders must embrace to reap more benefits.
“Leaders should divert their perception of MCC being a Chinese company and shift the paradigm and work with MCC-Ramu NiCo,” he said.

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Amnesty reveals UK govt helped Rio Tinto avoid culpability for Bougainville deaths

The documents that show the UK Government caved in to corporate lobbying

Amnesty International

one of our

Niger Delta campaign poster highlighting the damage Shell has done in the region. © Amnesty International

Are there any principles that the UK government is willing to stand up for in the face of business lobbying? Apparently not, if documents released through a Freedom of Information request are anything to go by.

These show, in detail, how the UK intervened to support Shell and Rio Tinto in high-profile US human rights court cases, following requests from the companies.

The documents, obtained by the Corporate Responsibility Coalition (of which we’re a part), relate to the UK government’s intervention in two cases: Kiobel-v-Shell and Sarei-v-Rio Tinto.

The Kiobel case was brought against the oil giant by communities from the Niger Delta, who accused Shell of helping the Nigerian military to systematically torture and kill environmentalists in the 1990s.

Sarei-v-Rio Tinto was a long-running case relating to alleged human rights abuses at the company’s Panguna copper mine on the island of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea. It’s alleged that Rio Tinto racially discriminated against black mine workers, harmed the island’s environment and its residents’ health, and was complicit in war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the army.

The US Supreme court halted the case against Shell a year ago, accepting the arguments from both Shell and the UK Government that cases of this kind shouldn’t be taken in the US. A lower US appeals court then followed that decision to dismiss Sarei-v-Rio Tinto.

The UK government has effectively supported the corporations in ducking out of scrutiny in the US courts. Why would the government want to prevent UK companies from being held accountable in the US courts for complicity in human rights violations as serious as torture and murder?

‘both BIS [Department of Business, Innovation and Skills] and CEDD [Commercial and Economic Diplomacy Department at the FCO] believe that the prosperity and potentially significant commercial considerations in this case weigh in favour of the UK submitting an amicus brief.’
FOI request page 52

The Freedom of Information request shows the Government was well aware that its intervention would be seen as inconsistent with its approach to human rights. It knew that these cases are exceptional and relate only to the most serious corporate abuses. It was aware of the reputational consequences, and that Amnesty and other human rights groups would be outraged when we found out – but still, they decided to pursue this course of action.

‘Supporters of the action against Shell (including NGOs and the media, as well as the plaintiffs) will likely argue that the courts and human rights legislation of Nigeria are inadequate to deal with a case of this nature, and the US ATS [Alien Tort Statute] is the only practical form of redress for the victims.

‘By submitting an amicus curiae brief HMG would be acting to seek a result that will close a possible remedy for victims of alleged human rights abuse.’
FOI request page 53

What is particularly galling about the UK government’s approach is that ministers and officials with a human rights brief were unwilling or unable to hold their ground. There was no meaningful consideration of the enormous consequences for victims of corporate abuses around the world who would be denied the possibility of justice through the US courts.

Even the government’s belief that it was acting to protect UK business interests was based on conjecture rather than evidence.

It’s ironic, if not deliberately hypocritical, that these interventions happened within a year of the UK endorsing the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights at the UN. A key recommendation of the UN Guiding Principles (also known as the Ruggie Principles) is that victims of business-related human rights abuses should be able to take businesses to court to seek justice and compensation. The UK should be actively promoting the rights of the claimants in the Shell and Rio Tinto cases, not restricting their ‘right to remedy’.

‘HRDD [Human Rights and Democracy Department at the FCO] is concerned that actively intervening would damage everything the Government is doing to show that good business achievement and good corporate human right behaviour are compatible with each other. Submission of a UK brief effectively defending the corporate position in this case will be perceived as inconsistent with our position on the UN Guiding Priciples… of which the UK was a key supporter during their five years gestation.’
FOI request page 52

When two Secretaries of State – William Hague and Vince Cable – launched the UK’s plan to implement the Guiding Principles in September 2013, this sent political signals that the UK was getting serious about business and human rights.

The plan pledges that the UK government will provide ‘help to States wishing to develop their human rights protection mechanisms and reduce barriers to remedy within their jurisdiction’, yet the UK’s intervention in Kiobel-v-Shell has had the opposite effect.

In putting British business interests before human rights concerns regardless of context and consequences, the UK government is acting above the law and in breach of its international commitments. When it does so at the request of UK companies facing lawsuits for the most serious of international crimes, our government demonstrates the extent to which it has been captured by corporate lobbyists.

The precedent set by the US Supreme Court’s judgement means that companies all over the world can now abuse human rights with a greater sense of impunity, knowing that an important avenue of redress through the US courts has been closed to their victims.

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