Tag Archives: Chinese mining

Ramu Nickel Tries to Cover-Up 17 February Explosion

Bismarck Ramu Group

Thick white smoke from the refinery, moving southwards

Thick white smoke from the refinery, moving southwards

At approximately 2 am on 17 February people from the Basamuk area of the Rai Coast were awakened to an explosion from from the Basamuk Refinery. This was followed by a hugh cloud of heavy thick gas seeping out of the Acid Tank.

By dawn the thick white smoke had advanced southwards via strong winds toward Mindre and Dein villages. What remained in its path was widespread damage to gardens and local vegetation. Photos show browning and orange like colors sustained by the local vegetation

Taro plant damaged by the gas

Taro plant damaged by the gas

Villagers are angry and worried about their health as they talk of breathing in the smoke.

Of course the WORLD CLASS CHINESE CLOWNS at MCC have remained silent on the issue. What do they care? It’s just the environment and the people are just Papua New Guineans. That we expect from the folks from the Middle Kingdom – and their cronies who they bought off.

But how long is our government going to let this destruction of the environment and the people go on? When is enough enough? Surely the money we are allowing the Middle Kingdom folks to make (because we aren’t getting much) isn’t worth the price of our people and our land. What about our children?

Have we lost all sense of decency?

This is NOT going to get any better!!!!! It’s time to take action. What are we doing to our grandchildren and those unborn future generations.

And OF COURSE – no mention of this in the “Mainstream” media.

Banana tree leaves have changed color since being  covered by the white gas

Banana tree leaves have changed color since being covered by the white gas

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Female camp employees used as sex workers at Ramu mine

The remote Ramu nickel mine site

The remote Ramu nickel mine site

Women employed at the remote Ramu nickel mine site to provide basic services such as laundering, cooking and cleaning for the mine staff are also being used as sex workers.

This has been an on going issue for some time. Many of the women claim they are forced to do it because the money they receive from the mine owners MCC is not enough to cover even their basic needs, so they have to provide sex to the workers to gain extra cash to sustain them and their household.

The women are mostly casual staff, 33 in total are employed at the mine at any one time. Most of the women are married, but they have to leave their husbands and children back in the village while working at the mine. They are working as sex workers for the permanent male employees.

The female workers claim the mine management does not have any control over these issues and even outside women are smuggled into the mine site and the mine workers lock them away in their rooms to use for sex.

The situation has led to unwanted pregnancies, HIV/AIDS infections and domestic violence problems.

The women have raised their concerns with the management but the world class Chinese miners think that the plight of the women is not an important issue to be discussed and they always turn a blind eye to the matter.

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Where has foreign policy gone wrong? The Asianisation of Madang

Samuel Roth | PNG Attitude

TO ALL those who have never visited Madang, here are some facts to add onto your knowledge about people and places….

The biggest Chinese investment in PNG, Ramu Nickel Mining, is found in this province.

All the stores in Madang are owned by Asians except for two: Christian Books Melanesia (owner unknown ) and Yoko Trading (a very small store owned by a Chimbu fellow). The most (seemingly) expensive building in Madang, they call it “glass house”, is owned by the Chinese state-owned MCC (China Metallurgical Group Corporation).

The biggest fishing cannery and the largest number of fishing vessels in Papua New Guinea are owned by Asians.

The vast Trans-Gogol Valley and Ramu Valley, home to virgin rainforest and tropical hardwood, is logged by Asians started by Japan New Guinea Timber (JANT) decades ago and now continued by other logging giants.

I have no intention of being racist but the list (and I could go on) is phenomenal. One wonders if there are any politicians in Madang who realise these facts and might be responsive to the plight of the vulnerable.

Foreign policy pursuits these days do not necessarily reward but offer costs that are detrimental.

Only in Madang have I seen headlines about politicians winning elections while in prison, driving on to runways to stop moving planes, driving bulldozers into settlements, and  arriving in prison for failing to control violent supporters.

In a few months’ time, Madang’s long-awaited and much-anticipated Pacific Marine Industrial Zone will commence – built by Chinese using Chinese loans for Filipino companies and their PNG cohorts to excel whatever they do best in. What’s left of Madang? And what’s left for it?

Ironically, for the first time in history, the flying foxes have deserted the tourist town for destinies and reasons known only to Mother Nature.

With good manners, they have paved way for new migrants to conquer the town under the watchful eyes of all the Matus and Kukurais, the so-called chiefs.

Only God will save Madang from Asianization but in the meantime, let us ponder on where exactly has our foreign policy gone wrong.

Samuel Roth is a Lecturer of International Relations & Politics at Divine Word University in Madang

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Ramu mine: Kurumbukari landowners angered

EMTV

image001The Madang Provincial Government’s assurance of addressing issues and benefits concerning the Ramu NiCo Project has been questioned by the Tigina tribe in the Kurumbukari (KBK) area.

Chairman of Tigina landowners Peter Bagme raised concerns of misleading roles played by political leaders and the provincial administration.

He says legitimate landowners are disturbed with the way leaders are handling this case.

Mr Bagme comments come after Madang Governor, Jim Kas, and Usino Bundi member, Anton Yagama, visited Enekuwai village outside KBK Mine to address a petition by landowner groups.

Governor Kas reiterated his commitment to disallow landowners to continue to suffer under the current MoA terms. However Mr Bagme says, Mr Kas and Mr Yagama are using media publications as a smoke screen to divert attention.

Chairman Bagme stated that the 2 leaders have not directly solved landowner issues at hand, but are eyeing benefits and other payments.

The Tigina people want land issues to be addressed immediately.

Meanwhile the unsolved land issues are now before the Madang Land Court for review on the commissioning of land to several landowner groups.

The Tigina landowners alleged that the land commissioner grossly abused customary land declaration processes. The criteria applied in issuing land titles is under scrutiny.

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Angry landowners assault two miners

The National aka The Loggers Times

TWO Chinese employees of the RamuNiCo project at the Kurumbukari mine site were assaulted and wounded by frustrated landowners last week.

A source at the mine site said landowners marched into the company’s power station and slashed the two Chinese workers with bush knives last Tuesday.

“Village youths mobilised, armed with stones, sticks and bush knives and attacked the two Chinese workmen and pulled off three company vehicles belonging to the community affairs department of the mine.

A police team that went to assess the situation last week confirmed the report.

Landowner Keri Amos said RamuNiCo did not honour and fully implement the conditions stated in the memorandum of agreement signed between the company and landowners.

He said landowners needed better medical services, education facilities, electricity and an alternative road apart from the one they shared with the company.

“We have an aid post which is not medically equipped, a school with no desks in the classrooms and power supply that can be cut off for two weeks,” Amos said.

He said the resettlement homes built by the company at Enekuai village did not have regular water supply, water to use in septic toilets built inside and villagers were always without electricity.

Amos said villagers were using the same road that linked the mine facility and the mining pits and it was “very dangerous” when they tried to avoid the huge mine trucks.

He said the company was mining from Imbrua and Maure clan land and was now approaching land belonging to Gaiza without providing the full services the landowners needed since its  operation.

Amos said landowners were still keeping the three vehicles and demanding government representatives, Mineral Resource Authority and RamuNiCo to have a dialogue regarding their concerns.

Mathew Yakai, of RamuNiCo’s media unit, said landowners were frustrated over the incomplete services outlined in the 2002 MOA review which the national government and MRA should have done.

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WORLD CLASS Ramu Nickel off to Gr8 start in 2014: 2 Chinese hospitalized

Bismark Ramu Group

Well WORLD CLASS Mining Clown Ramu Nickel aka: MCC got off to another great start. After the MOA signing in December last year (you remember the signing where no one actually saw the MOA) MCC, the bought-off landowner group, the PNG Mineral Resource Authority (MRA) and other corrupt government officials touted how great the MCC Circus was and on and on and on).

Yesterday the WORLD CLASS Miners impinged on some Krumbakari (KBK) landowners land. After all they’re MCC – they can do what they want. The landowners called MCC out on their trespassing and a fight ensued between the locals and Chinese workers. Two of the Chinese nationals have suffered knife wounds and are presently at the Modilon Haus Sik.

The locals are in the mining areas where the MCC warehouse is, along with some of the MCC heavy equipment. The power supply in the camp has been shut down. Locals say they were unhappy about MCC going onto land that was off limits. The locals also they are tired of hearing the “bullshit” from the Chinese. They said they have been promised jobs right from the beginning and got none. They said the youths were promised “empowerment” training and none came about and women have also been promised trainings in which none have taking place.

MCC quickly sent out their Propaganda Team lead by Matthew Yakai – so they could spin the story not making MCC look too bad, but the locals would have nothing to do with the Propaganda Team.

At the time of this writing MCC General Manager Graham (NOT a Chinese Person) is out “negotiating” with the landowners.

And as if the mine site problems (and problems with staff) is not enough poor MCC has to get ready for what’s going on in Basamuk. It appears landowners there have also had enough. As MCC runs around paying people off - locals have no documented the actual payoffs.

In addition it appears there is SERIOUS TALK about another court case which will involve an international team.

Stay tune. Never a dull moment in Madang when the Madang Chinese Circus (MCC) is around.

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Xstrata issue clarified

Gynnie Kero | The National aka The Loggers Times

THE sale of Glencore Xstrata’s share of 80% in the Frieda River project to PanAust is subject to a couple of conditions yet to be reached, Highlands Pacific managing director and chief executive John Gooding said.

Gooding was reacting to speculation that the Beijing-ordered sale by Glencore Xstrata of its US$6 billion (K14.5 billion) Las Bambas copper project in Peruis has placed PanAust, Highlands Pacific and Indophil on high alert.

As reported in The Australian recently, the sale of Las Bambas as a condition of Chinese approval of last year’s merger between Glencore and Xstrata – affected the plans of all three companies in their multi-billion-dollar copper-gold projects in PNG (PanAust and Highlands) or in the Philippines (Indophil).

Gooding said: “When Glencore and Xstrata wanted to merge last year, they had to get approval from respective countries in which they both operated.

“While receiving approval from European Union countries and others, the Chinese Ministry of Finance and Commerce (MOFCOM) required that Las Bambas, a new big copper mine being developed in Chile by Xstrata at the time, be sold by mid next year before they would agree to the merger.

“If  an agreement for the sale of Las Bambas was not signed by mid-year (2014), then the Chinese had the right to decide whether another of the copper projects in Xstrata’s stable including Frieda River, would be sold instead.”

Gooding said the whole merger of Xstrata and Glencore seemed to be contingent on the sale of Las Bambas or another of their copper projects.

“We believe that the sale process for Las Bambas is fairly mature and will be consummated in the not too distant future from what we read.

“Once Las Bambas is sold (probably to a Chinese company). then the merger of Xstrata and Glencore should become unconditional as it would satisfy MOFCOM’s requirements, and then so does the sale of Frieda River to PanAust become unconditional.

“In the meantime if MOFCOM approves the sale of Frieda River to PanAust first then that also would be very good for all the stakeholders in Frieda River and the people of PNG as it reduces any uncertainty with regards to timing.

“We are very confident that the sale process of both Las Bambas and Frieda River is robust and that PanAust will be very good partners as they have the track record and capability to deliver this world class project,” Gooding added.
Highlands Pacific owns 20% share in the Frieda River gold and copper project located on the border of Sandaun and East Sepik provinces.

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Marengo Announces Closing of Refinancing Transaction With Major Shareholder

Marengo still staying silent on what it will do with the toxic tailings from its proposed Yandera mine… build an expensive dam or dump in the sea like the neighbouring Ramu mine?

Marengo | Junior Mining Network

Marengo Mining Limited is pleased to announce that it has completed the previously announced issuance of US$27,509,621 principal amount of convertible unsecured debentures (the “Debentures”) to its major shareholder, Sentient Executive GP IV, Limited for the General Partner of Sentient Global Resources Fund IV, L.P. (collectively, “Sentient”) pursuant to a loan conversion and debenture exchange agreement dated November 29, 2013, as amended, between the Company (together with its wholly-owned subsidiaries Yandera Mining Company Limited and Marengo Mining (PNG) Limited), and Sentient (the “Agreement”).

As previously announced, pursuant to the terms of the Agreement, Sentient has: (i) converted the unsecured interest-bearing debt facility in the aggregate principal amount of US$10,000,000, dated February 6, 2013, as amended, due on January 15, 2014, along with interest of US$387,766 thereon, into new Debentures of the Company; (ii) exchanged its aggregate principal amount of US$16,300,000 outstanding debentures (the “Sentient Outstanding Debentures”) issued pursuant to the debenture purchase agreement, dated as of May 27, 2013, along with interest of US$821,855 thereon, for new Debentures; and (iii) provided a letter of support to the Company, confirming, among other things, that Sentient will ensure the Company has sufficient funds to maintain solvency for a period of 12 months from the date of the signing of the Company’s consolidated financial statements and entity accounts for the period ending December 31 2013.

Each US$1,000 face value Debenture is convertible, at the option of Sentient, into common shares or Chess Depositary Interests (“CDIs”) of the Company at a conversion price of CDN$0.02 per common share or CDI. The conversion price of the Debentures will be adjusted in the event there is a reorganisation of capital or an issue of new shares at below the conversion price. The Debentures will mature on June 30, 2016 and bear interest at a rate of 9% per annum, which interest shall be satisfied through the issuance of additional Debentures.

Sentient and its related entities currently hold 21.97% of the common shares of the Company and would hold approximately 69.94% of the then issued and outstanding common shares of the Company, assuming the conversion of all the Debentures issued in connection with the Transaction (including the Debentures issued to pay interest payments on the Debentures).

The Transaction received disinterested shareholder approval at the Annual and General Meeting of the shareholders of the Company held on January 14, 2014, and is subject to final approval of the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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Amex Resources books construction start date for MBA Delta irons sands project, Fiji

Proactive Investors

Amex Resources has drawn down $20 million of a recently secured $100 million short term loan facility as an advance payment to the construction contractor for its MBA Delta iron sands project in Fiji.

This cements the 20th February as a formal commencement date for the works, which will include construction of wharf and shiploading infrastructure at Amex’s Lautoka port site.

The contractor, a major Chinese State Owned Entity ranked in the Forbes 500 Largest Global Corporation list, is mobilising an advance party of 13 experts to site during the coming week.

The company holds a 21 year lease over the project, which carries a 220 million tonne indicated resource at 10.9% iron.

Amex recently signed an off-take agreement for the project, at 500,000 tonnes per annum of ironsands concentrate with an un-named global top 500 company for ten years.

Production of concentrate over the planned 20 year mine life is scheduled to be 500,000 tonnes in the first year, then 750,000 tonnes annually.

Plans are being considered for potential doubling of production to 1.5 million tonnes per annum after the first few years of operation.

Amex maintains a number of MOU’s and expressions of interest for Ironsands tonnages that together exceed the unallocated balance of scheduled annual production, and is confident further off take agreements will be reached as production draws near.

Ironsand, or titanomagnetite is a compound of iron, titanium and oxygen.

Unlike conventional hard rock magnetite, the traditional ore alternative to hematite, ironsand concentrate can be extracted at comparatively low cost. Chinese steelmakers are particularly are interested in ironsand concentrates to blend with higher cost feedstock.

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Ramu Nickel CIRCUS continues at “MOA Signing”

Bullshit/Alcohol Rule the Local Bollywood Comedy

Bismarck Ramu Group

WORLD CLASS MCC continues on with its “DEVELOPMENT” of Madang Province. In a scene from a poor Bollywood comedy all the clowns were present TRYING to put on a show that was to convince the people how wonderful the so-called Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) was and how it was going to benefit Madang, the country, the region, the world, the planet and the entire universe. It was hilarious at one level, but at another it is a sad state of affairs to see yet another example of the nonsense and bullshit which is presently dominating our country.

Now before we continue let us say we debated among ourselves whether we should use the word bullshit. We decided to go to the dictionary and see how the word is defined. It says: Noun: stupid or untrue talk or writing; nonsense. Verb: talk nonsense to (someone), typically to be misleading or deceptive. Yep Bullshit is the appropriate term all right. That describes the whole event.

MoA

Now the first thing one must ask is why another MoA. There already was one. So why another? Well the post MoA signing “bullshit” will try (and fail miserably) to convince you that after seven years a new MoA was in order, but why??

The first MoA was a typical MoA signed by the PNG government and a Mining Company. That agreement was signed with the Australian based Highlands Pacific. It was signed under the Morauta government on the 26th of July 2000. That Mining Development Agreement was 81 pages long.

When Highlands Pacific couldn’t find the financial backing they needed to get the mine off the ground (or is that in the ground?) they had to settle for WORLD CLASS MCC. Now when MCC came in they wanted to do away with the agreement signed by HP with the PNG government. Actually MCC wanted Highlands Pacific out of the picture entirely.

The Somare government explained to the Chinese that they couldn’t by-pass Highlands Pacific and that the agreement COULD NOT be changed HOWEVER it could be amended. The Chinese LOVED hearing this so they sat down with Somare, (with HP, quietly looking on) and knocked out AMENDMENTS to the ORIGINAL MINING agreement signed by the Morauta government.

The amendments totaled 41 pages. That’s right everyone the amendments were 41 pages and basically took a standard mining contract between a mining company and the State and stripped the state and landowners of most of the benefits they could possibly had gotten. Huh? That’s right! In fact Somare handed to the Chinese everything they wanted including a drastic reduction in the state equity. This “agreement” was signed on the 10th of August 2006.

This “agreement” was questioned by many people, groups and organisations including BRG. Basically what was being questioned is how a standard mining agreement could be “amended” to totally disempower the state and the people. Also how in the world could the PNG government take such a drastic reduction in their stake in the mine. And why weren’t the people consulted? One can certainly assume the answers to these questions given the politics in PNG today.

A copy of the original agreement and the 41 pages of Chinese amendments are here: Mining Development Contract 2000 [9MB] MCC 2008 Amendments to Mine Agreeement [8MB]

Have a look for yourselves. As they say “read it and weep”.

So now they decide (7 years later) to sign a “new MoA”. And you know what it says???? You don’t? – Well nobody else does either- yep it was drawn up in Waigani, sent up here for the Circus – not distributed to anyone, no landowners were consulted – and it was SIGNED! How about that for progress. Nope – we are NOT making this up!!!!! How could you?

CIRCUS PARTICIPANTS

The Circus “SIGNING” took place at Jais Aben Resort. Over 700 people showed up (yea we know MCC said 2,000 in the Daily Log (National Newspaper, but it was only 700). Present along with the WORLD CLASS MCC reps, including ZHAO SHIMIN (and their new media camera man) were the husband of Teresa Kas – James who is currently the Governor of Madang; Little Byron Chan, PNG’s Mining Minister whose never found a miner whose butt he doesn’t love to kiss and do what he is told to do by them: Madang’s Mining Officer John Bivi, whose job was that of ring master – making sure everyone found their seats and signed the MoA as quickly as possible: the chairmen from the four Landowners Associations who have been in MCC’s pockets from the beginning but who as Judge Cannings ruled in the MCC Court case DO NOT REPRESENT THE LANDOWNERS. Keep that in mind everyone. Apparently this issue is NOT going away.

Also present was Usino-Bundi MP Anthon Yagama who went on about how wonderful it was the Chinese haven’t abandoned the project (please Anthon – you know as well as we do why they haven’t abandoned the project – and it has nothing to do with helping PNG or the landowners).

The Mineral Resource Development Company (MRDC) and the Mineral Resource Association (MRA) was of course present. MRA’s major contribution was to have one of their staff drop off K25,000 CASH two days prior to the event to used for the “bar bill”. The MRA staff member said if any money was left over – (there wasn’t) – it could be returned to him (we’re sure it could be).

CIRCUS ITSELF

The circus itself, as stated at the beginning, looked like a setting in a bad Bollywood comedy. It was unorganized and Ring master John Bivi’s job was obviously to keep all the LOYAL people near the front of the Conference Hall and everyone else in the back. When questions were raised by landowners (in the back of the Hall) in regards to the MoA, the process, non-consultation of landowners and where was the actual MoA – they were ignored or told to be quiet.

Mr. Joe Koroma was one of the persons questioning the proceedings, suggesting the Lands Titles Commissioners (LTC) should be informed, present and also sign such an MoA. Mr. Koroma suggested the signing be put off until the LTC could be invited. This was ignored and one Sama Melambo (one of the former plaintiff’s who brought the legal suit against MCC until Somare and company bought him off ) told Koroma and others to be quiet and make sure the signing took place quickly. You see Mr. Melambo is a busy man these days (spending his sell out money no doubt) and he couldn’t hang around, he had things to do, places to go, people to meet.

The husband of Teresa Kas was pitiful in his presentation. He had been putting on a show in Madang, along with John Bivi to try and get people to think he was against the dumping of waste in Basamuk Bay. When he was questioned on this he said – are you ready for this? – the Chinese developer (that’s MCC folks) was testing the system, they had taken samples and had sent them to Australia for further tests to be carried out. Huh??? Ah Mr. Kas shouldn’t the results of those tests be released prior to signing an agreement. And is it MCC who should be doing their own tests? Looks like the “new Jim Kas” is no different from the “old Jim Kas.” No surprise there.

CIRCUS REFRESHMENTS

Once they finally got those that were suppose to sign the new MoA to sign then they moved on to the refreshments which was really why most of the people showed up. The “important people” couldn’t be bothered mixing with everyone else. After all they are important people!! So they demanded that Jais Aben have a separate dinner & drinks for them. They numbered 80 and didn’t want to mingle with the people they just bullshitted throughout. They wanted to celebrate how wonderful they are – and on and on and on.

So with the masters of nonsense and bullshit in one area – and the masses in another folks got down to eating and getting drunk. The first signs it was going to get out of hand came early on as big mouths – usually those with the bigger bellies – trying to outshout each other to prove their worth.

The management at the Hotel saw where it was going and let everyone know the party was over at 7:30. After all they had spent the money the MRA bag man brought for the alcohol.

And to show how grateful they were to the police who were making sure things didn’t get too out of hand too early – the “leaders” gave 10 cases of alcohol to the boys in blue for a job well done.

ON THE GROUND

And so as the circus ends and the clowns think they really pulled one over on the people – on the ground its a different story. As ZHAO SHIMIN smiles his way through the bullshit pleasing his masters back home things aren’t going as well on the ground.

Neither with landowners at both Basamuk and KBK, nor with their employees who are apparently becoming more and more “disenchanted” with the WORLD CLASSERS. Also the heavy rains in Madang the last couple of weeks is causing some problems isn’t it Mr. ZHAO???

And thinking with the holiday season with us and no one paying attention perhaps the WORLD CLASSERS can………………….. can what Mr. ZHAO! Be careful. People including your “supporters” and employees are going to hold you accountable -even if the folks bought off don’t.

And lastly dear readers it appears the NEW MoA is being reviewed by some influential people both within PNG and internationally. The fear is yup – the MoA may not be legal. And without going in to detail the word is if people didn’t read or know what they were signing – even the Landowner Companies – who do NOT represent the communities – as stated in Judge Cannings rulings – well then that’s a problem – not just morally but legally.

So stay tuned from up in Madang. And we haven’t even touched on the pollution and its effects in Basamuk Bay.

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