Jeffrey Elapa | Post Courier | June 06, 2016
THE Ramu nickel and cobalt mine in Madang Province will reopen soon after the independent investigation report into the death of an Asian and the injuries caused to several Papua New Guineans are determined and presented next week,” Mining Minister Byron Chan said.
Mr Chan said as a result of the accident the Mineral Resource Authority stopped the operations of the mine seven weeks ago and is still closed today.
The mine is operated by the Chinese Government-owned MCC with its mine operations at the Kurumbukari in the Usino-Bundi district with the slurry being piped to the coast at its refinery at Basamuk in the Rai Coast district.
He said the death and the injuries caused to PNG Nationals along the pipeline [?] needed to be investigated and the department requested for an independent investigation that has already concluded and will be presented to him and his department inspectors on Tuesday [6 June].
Mr Chan was responding to questions without notice from Usino-Bundi MP Anton Yagama who wanted to know when the operation will resume after the closure as the effects of the closure was severe as many employee and local businesses were affected.
He said the accident was serious in nature and it needed to be investigated and reported in order to allow the operations to resume as safety cannot be compromised.
“We understand the impact of the shutdown of the mine but the incident is serious. It was a pipeline problem that caused the death and we had to call for an independent investigation.
Since it’s technical as it deals with high pressure pipes it has taken that long for the investigations to be concluded but the report will be tabled next week and we look forward to reopening the mine.
“There is a possibility of reopening train one and two but the third train that caused the incident will be closed to avoid similar incidences,” Chan said.