MINER Ramu NiCo will welcome any independent investigation initiated by the Minister for Trade, Commerce and Industry Richard Maru into the recent alleged murder of a mine operator.
The developer of PNG’s only nickel and cobalt project said in a statement it is prepared to co-operate with the Minister to clear any doubts relating to the incident.
This comes after Mr Maru questioned the safety and operating standards of the company following the alleged murder of employee Kenneth Karis.
Mr Maru called for a full scale investigation into the operations of the mine to ascertain if the mine is operating within world standards.
Ramu Nico in response assured that it strictly implements world standard “occupational health and safety management systems” in compliance with relevant PNG mining standards and procedures of the firm.
“Each standard includes a reference to applicable Ramu nickel procedures, guidelines or manuals and refered to other relevant standards including AS/NZS 4801:2001 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems.
“We are confident with our existing safety and operation standard and proud of where we are today,” it said.
The company said it ensured all its employees are well versed with PNG Industrial Safety, Health and Welfare Act 1961, PNG Mining (Safety) Act 1977 and Australian Occupational Health & Safety Act 2000 and its code of practice.
“We have practical golden rules to first of all save lives, save equipment and save production.
All these lead up to our vision of operating a world’s most successful nickel mining and processing facility with zero-harm.”
While conveying its condolences to the late Kenneth’s family members and relatives, Ramu NiCo assured the relatives that it will follow the relevant laws and company policy to repatriate the body to his final resting place in compliance the Employment Act 1978.
Since 2012, Ramu NiCo has recorded two fatalities from a logging contractor’s employee in November 2014 and August 2015 at its Kurumbukari mine.
The company said an initial Police CID investigation indicates that the deceased was allegedly murdered for other reasons other than work related.
The company is still waiting for further investigation reports from the hospital which are currently going on, to be sure of who exactly is responsible for the unlawful actions.