MCC, the Chinese company operating the Ramu nickel mine and Basamuk refinery will no longer use external experts to monitor the impacts of its toxic marine waste dumping. Instead the mining company will do its own monitoring using a newly acquired remotely operated vehicle. The PNG government is already entirely reliant on the company for data on the impacts of the dumping but now any semblance of independent input has been entirely removed.
MCC has also received final approval of its operational environmental management plan, despite the ongoing complaints from coastal communities about pollution affecting their garden crops and fisheries…
Ramu Nickel Miner acquires monitoring device
The developers of the Ramu Nickel project in Madang have acquired a device which will assist it to conduct checks on its deep sea tailing placement disposal (DSTP).
The Remote Operating Vehicle (RVO) will also enable it to report to its stakeholders on a timely basis.
The ROV was purchased from SEABBOTIX Australia Ltd at the cost of US$94,290m (K276,510m) following recommendations from a sea-expert. “The device will enable the company to better meet the National Government’s environment regulatory compliance under the Operational Environment Management Plan (OEMP),” the company stated.
Its acquisition the company will no longer have source experts from abroad to conduct its DSTP checks. The ROV is deployed into the water body commencing at DSTP Mixing Tank tailings outlet pipe and along the 150m DSTP Pipeline right down to where the tailings falls off into the ocean floor.
With the ROV pilot’s control, the equipment travels along capturing images and records what is in front of the video camera and sound device which are mounted to the ROV. Data captured are normally downloaded off from the ROV at the end of the operation for consumption.
Meanwhile a ROV data acquisition training was conducted at Basamuk Refinery recently where a hands-on practical training session was part of the second quarter DSTP inspection activity for 2015.
Nickel project gets approval
THE Ramu nickel and cobalt project has been given approval for its operational environment management plan by Conservation Environment and Protection Authority director Gunther Joku.
The company said Joku granted the approval “upon the developments achieved since the interim plan approval in 2011”.
Since 2011, the project based in Madang had been tasked to work on the plan for its operation but on a renewal basis. The plan contained all the requirements to be implemented during the project construction and production phase to protect the environment.
“Up to Aug 18, 2015, the environment team wrote to Michael Wau of CEPA seeking long-term approval for the OEMP for the Ramu NiCo project.
“The granting of the final approval now places the Ramu NiCo project to confidently implement all the environment protection requirements starting from its KBK Mine to Basamuk Refinery, including the 135km slurry pipeline.
“During the interim OEMP approval in 2011, the company had undertaken commissioning and ramping up of the project to its full production in the KBK mine, the pipeline and the Basamuk Refinery operations for over two years.”