Is this the beginning of the end for the Chinese Ramu mine?

ramu mine

Miner cuts jobs due to cease order

Post Courier | May 16, 2016

A TOTAL of 51 nationals working for the country’s lone nickel and cobalt mine in Madang have lost their jobs [plus an unspecified number of Chinese workers].

A further 189 workers were also laid off and their return to employment now hinges on whether the financials of the Chinese developer miner Ramu NiCo (MCC) Limited improves.

The job cuts follow a rationalisation exercise which the Chinese developer miner was forced to undertake due to its tight financial situation.

Earlier and at a time when several mines were forced to lay of their staff for reasons including the El-Nino and the down-turn in the global prices, the miner had expressed confidence that it would be able to weather the situation.

However, the situation changed when the company was instructed by the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) to shut down its operations last month and following a fatal accident at the mine’s refinery at Basamuk, Raicoast district.

In a statement, the company released last week, Ramu NiCo said the 51 workers who had their contracts terminated were from both its Kurumubukari and Basamuk sites.

“Those (51) laid-off have been paid their full entitlements under their individual contracts and those on stand-by (189) will receive certain allowance.

“The exercise is due to our financial situation given the cease order now in place. We have followed all the laws and policies to carry out the exercise,” company management said. The miner said a total of 520 nationals had been retained to maintain the sites as well as to carry out relevant maintenance work.

“We have also reduced the staff strength of our Chinese employees from our two sites as well.

“Some were laid off completely as well while others have also been put on stand-by. Those who are on leave have been advised to stay on in China,” the Company said.

“It’s been more than four weeks since the Project operation shut down and the duration of the shutdown is uncertain and depends on the incident investigation outcome by an independent third party and rectification approval by MRA.

KBK Mine management led by Mine Manager Sarimu Kanu had met last week with the mine impacted landowners to advise them of the exercise while also urging the leaders to support the project at this difficult time.

KBK Community leader, Bare Diri said the landowners did not wish to see the Ramu NiCo Project close down permanently and asked the company to work closely with the Government through its implementing agencies including MRA to find ways forward.

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Filed under Financial returns, Mine construction

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