Ramu nickel mine assured of political backing from China

basamuk mcc ramu mine

Embassy assures miner

Post Courier | 25 April 2016

THE Chinese embassy in Port Moresby has assured the developer of the Ramu nickel/cobalt mine in Madang of its support. The embassy’s third secetary Hao Lijun expressed this while also conveying the embassy’s condolences when he visited Madang last week.

The visit follows the incident on April 12 at Ramu NiCo Limited’s Basamuk refinery that had left one dead and two others injured.

“It is not easy for the company to reach above 90 per cent since load commission in 2012 in spite of the depressing nickel market. We are fully aware of the challenges that the project is faced with,” Mr Hao said.

He said Ramu NiCo is the largest investment by the Chinese-owned enterprise in a mining industry in the South Pacific region and the embassy places great importance in the project for the two countries benefit.

Ramu NiCo’s Vice presidents, Charles Zha, Xu Jian, and Hu Zhiliang in welcoming the third secretary had also briefed him on the incident.

“Two national employees involved in the incident are both in stable condition. One employee is still recovering from his injury while the other employee has been discharged. The company head office in Beijing is continuing to provide support and all necessary assistance to the family of the deceased,” Mr Zha said.

Mr Zha said the Mineral Resources Authority arrived on Thursday April 14, 2016 at the Ramu NiCo Nickel refinery to conduct a preliminary investigation into the incident.

“We were issued orders by MRA to cease operations of High Pressure Acid Leach (HPAL) area at Basamuk operations; this includes the withdrawal of persons working within the HPAL operational areas. The order to cease operations requires independent resources to investigate the incident, currently arrangements are being undertaken to engage the appropriate resources,” Mr  Zha said.

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