Tag Archives: Chinese mining

Highlands hikes stake in nickel project

The National aka The Loggers Times

Thick white smoke from the refinery, moving southwards

Thick white smoke from a recent the refinery explosion

HIGHLANDS Pacific’s interest in the Ramu NiCo nickel project will increase to 11.3% from 8.56%, according to the company’s 2013 financial statements. The increase would be at no cost to Highlands after repayment of its share of the project debt (estimated to be paid by 2018). From commissioning, Highlands had access to its proportion of 8.56% share of Ramu NiCo’s post-debt servicing, net cash flow. Highlands also had an option to acquire an additional 9.25% interest in the nickel project at fair market value, which could increase the company’s interest in the mine to 20.55%, if the option is exercised. The Madang nickel project, which began in 2012, would eventually ramp up to 31,150 tonnes of nickel and 3,300 tonnes of cobalt per annum. The US$2.1 billion (K5 billion) nickel project was said to be the largestminerals project development in PNG in the past 15 years. Its mineral reserves underpin a 20-year mine and the resources had the potential for many decades beyond, according to Highlands’ 2013 financial statements. Ramu NiCo said it produced more than 15,000 tonnes of nickel last year and will target 22,000 tonnes in 2015.

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Ramu Nico silent over gas leakage in Basmuk, Madang

Franklin Kolma | Post Courier

Thick white smoke from the refinery, moving southwards

Thick white smoke from the refinery, moving southwards

A prominent landowner from Basamuk, Terry Kuning, has been seeking avenues to publicise what appears to be a threatening pollution issue from the nearby refinery site owned by Ramu Nico in Madang Province.

According to him, villages near Basamuk were woken by the sound of an explosion at the refinery in the early hours of Monday, February 17.

He reported the explosion occurred around 2am and a huge cloud of heavy thick gas seeping out of the acid tank at Basamuk refinery. At dawn, this unusual thick white smoke had already advanced southwards, blown by strong winds towards Mindre and Dein villages. What remained in its path was widespread damage to garden food crops and plants which are now covered in a brown orange-like substance.

He said the villagers’ worst fear was their health, as people living directly in the path of the gas had definitely inhaled it. So far the company has remained silent over the issue.

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Is MCC about to treat its workers with a little more respect?

The National aka The Loggers Times

Miner to give workers their awards

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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


Filed under Environmental impact, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

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.


Filed under Financial returns, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

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


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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