Mining Minister: “Basically that is what is causing the delay in addressing the stop-work order. We are waiting for this report from the company which has taken the company about six weeks for them to submit”
Report to decide Basamuk’s fate
Post Courier | 27 May, 2016
A decision on the Ramu Nickel’s Basamuk refinery operations is pending an independent technical investigation report from the mine management.
The Government will make a decision to lift the stop-work order placed only after the report on the fatal incident of April 12 is submitted.
The company had been ordered to engage an independent third party to investigate the incident which killed a Chinese national worker and caused bodily injuries to two other national workers.
This order follows initial investigations by the Mineral Resources Authority’s Mines Inspectorate on site on April 14 revealing serious unsafe and defective management systems that were prevalent on the high pressure acid leach trains.
The report was to be submitted to the Government for assessment and determination on the next course of action.
However, Mining Minister Byron Chan said so far Ramu Nickel has not submitted that report despite assurances from the company that it would by May 25 (yesterday).
“Basically that is what is causing the delay in addressing the stop-work order. We are waiting for this report from the company which has taken the company about six weeks for them to submit,” he said.
Mr Chan said the Government in the meantime has allowed the company to carry out other equipment preservation activities but with conditions that they must not interfere with evidences of the ongoing investigations.
“I am aware that the stop work order has not affected the company’s ability to continue to export nickel and cobalt during this period.
“I want to assure the company that it is in our interest to return the refinery back to normal operations but we must do so under safe conditions. To do otherwise is not an option.”
Meanwhile, the Minister has announced Lave Michael, former deputy Chief Inspector as the new Chief Inspector of Mines, taking over from Mohan Singh.