About PNG Mine Watch

This blog was originally established to track the progress of the Ramu nickel mine in Madang Province, Papua New Guinea, but has since been expanded to cover the whole mining sector in PNG.

This expansion has been as a result of three factors. Firstly, the overwhelming interest shown in the blog – with more than 50,000 visits in the first nine months; secondly, the multitude of issues affecting other mines in PNG; and, thirdly, the rapid expansion of the mining sector in PNG with several new mines under construction and many more in the planning stages.

94 responses to “About PNG Mine Watch

  1. Aral Nen

    Thanks for the site

    • The rot in PNG started when the very corrupt and dishonest Michael Somare, drunk on his own power and self interest, corrutly used his discretion to release his “little mate”.

      Police set to arrest PNG attorney general, deputy PM on Supreme Court orders
      From: AAP November 11, 2011 4:19PM Increase Text Size Decrease Text Size Print Email Share Add to Digg Add to del.icio.us Add to Facebook Add to Kwoff Add to Myspace Add to Newsvine What are these? Tweet thisPAPUA New Guinean police say they are prepared to carry out orders from the nation’s Supreme Court to arrest Deputy Prime Minister Belden Namah and Attorney General Alan Marat.

      In a brief statement, acting police commissioner Tom Kulunga confirmed police had recieved Friday’s order to arrest the pair for contempt of court charges.

      “The orders, signed and issued by Supreme Court Justice Bernard Sakora, were delivered to the office of the commissioner this morning,” he said in a statement.

      “Police are acting on the court orders.”

      Police spokesman Superintendent Dominic Kakas would not disclose if police knew the whereabouts of Mr Namah or Dr Marat, but said police were acting on the orders and the pair had been invited to turn themselves over to authorities.

      “This is a very sensitive matter. We do not want to create unnecessary fear and anxiety in the community,” he said.

      Prime Minister Peter O’Neill is currently in Hawaii for the annual APEC summit.

      The order to arrest Mr Namah and Dr Marat came a day after cabinet voted to suspend Supreme Court Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia pending an investigation into multiple charges, including mismanagement of court funds.

      It is unclear if Mr Namah and Dr Marat are currently in Port Moresby.

      Institute of National Affairs executive director Paul Barker said the order to arrest a sitting deputy prime minister was likely to be a first in PNG’s 36 year history as an independent nation.

      “Not since (the early 1980s) when a chief justice went and locked up the then Justice Minister, then prime minister Sir Michael Somare used his discretion to release her.

      “The supreme court resigned.”

      Mr Barker said the next few days would be difficult to interpret because of Mr O’Neill’s absence from PNG, although he said any sort of military intervention was unlikely.

      “I can’t really see everyone rushing out to follow Mr Namah,” he said.

      Sir Salamo ordered the arrest of both Mr Namah and Dr Marat after Mr Namah announced on Thursday the Chief Justice would be suspended pending an investigation into allegations of mismanaging court funds and contempt of court in a past legal matter.

      The sudden move has been treated with suspicion in Port Moresby, because it came after months of legal wrangling before the court over whether Mr O’Neill’s election to the post of prime minister, and the dumping of the previous government, was legal or not.

      The government has made three courtroom attempts to derail the case, including a mid-September move to have Sir Salamo removed for perceived conflict of interest.

      The court is expected to hand its decision on the constitutionality of the O’Neill election on December 9.

      In a statement released on Thursday, Mr Namah also announced a tribunal of former judges would be set up to investigate the charges against Sir Salamo.

      One Friday morning, the Port Moresby based Post Courier newspaper reported former justice George Manuhu had rejected his appointment to the tribunal.

      “I learned of my appointment through colleague judges. I have considered the matter and will on professional and ethical grounds decline,” he said.

      • The granting of a coal exploration licence by a disgraced former NSW Labor minister will be referred to the state’s corruption watchdog.

        In question time on Friday, Energy Minister Chris Hartcher produced a report commissioned by Clayton Utz, which he said raised serious questions about Ian Macdonald’s granting of the Hunter Valley licence to former union boss John Maitland.

        Mr Macdonald, the then mineral resources minister, announced the approval of the Doyles Creek licence on Christmas Eve 2008, after inviting only the former national secretary of Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union to tender.

        The Clayton Utz report found Doyles Creek should have been subject to a competitive tender, Mr Hartcher told parliament.

        “The Clayton Utz report reveals that there have been serious errors of judgement on the part of Ian Macdonald, with a cloud hanging over the dealings between him and his union mate,” Mr Hartcher said.

        A review commissioned by the former Labor government, which cleared Mr Macdonald of any wrongdoing, was not “a robust investigation”, Clayton Utz also found.

        On Friday the NSW lower house unanimously passed a motion to refer the matter to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), with the upper house to consider the resolution in two weeks.

        Labor MP Michael Daley said “the opposition, to a person … agree that the matter should be referred to ICAC”.

        Mr Macdonald quit parliament last year in the wake of an expenses scandal involving a 2008 trip to Dubai.

    • Great Blog. You can submit your blog url to us for listing for backlink and ranking. The link is:
      http://www.pngfacts.com/list-of-blogs-and-websites-in-papua-new-guinea.html

    • Kim Cool

      Interested in mining jobs going in PNG .Already work for Newmont Boddington Gold as an operator and 5years as a operator trainer .

    • Adele Broadbent

      Can the authors give us some credentials for the authors of the site? I appreciate the content but would like to know who is doing the research.

  2. top watch

    Can you compile in one article all comments on Environment Amendment Act 2010 and court case on DSTP? Doing that will point to real issue from animosity and politics. In a very short time a statutory authority has destroyed people. Hidden motive is destruction of PNG as a nation. Sad to see PNG intelligence and security organisations being blind.

    • Lucy Proctor

      At the risk of sounding facetious I was unaware PNG had an Intelligence & Security organisation, is this just a broad term or does it just come back to the ‘wantok system’ ?

      • Anon

        Lucy
        It seems that the citizens of PNG have not yet understood that for the last 30 years their society has been corrupted from the inside out.
        Somare started it and it has degenerated from there.
        It did not just happen in the last few years, months, or weeks.
        As for the assertion that there is a “hidden motive” this is a joke, surely.
        How can stupidity, greed and utter incompetance be considered a “hidden motive”.
        Its there for all to see.
        In that respect Ramunickels comment …………….”Also, remember the mining industry already has many advocates including the government, individual Ministers and MPs, MRA, DEC, Chamber of Mines etc, but who is standing up and putting across any alternative viewpoint? “……….. is wothy of a response and is NOT TO THE POINT.
        The sticky unconstitutional and poisonous tendrils of corrupting politicians in PNG has again reach pervasively into every Department and Authority MAKING THESE ORGANISATIONS DYSFUNCTIONAL and useless and incapable of responding effectively and appropriatly to a situation such as at Ramu.
        Its not so much the Mining Industry but the governement itself which has failed its people, and for that matter, the Mining Industry.
        That is what the Ramu matter has really uncovered, yet again.

    • wesely

      PNG has never been a real nation.

  3. Any further developments with Nautilus Minerals activity at Solawara1

  4. betty

    I bet this does not get posted which will prove my point. So many organisations spend too much time stopping progress why not help progress so that it happens in the right way. All mining and development has some impact on the environment and if we stop it all we don’t get to use things like computers!!! Ramu will bring much to my people

    • Thanks Betty for your comment which, as you can see has been posted. All views are welcomed on this site and your point is well made. But nobody here, I think, is opposed to progress. But lets make sure major projects are environmentally and socially appropriate and well-managed so they benefit as many people as possible – especially those in most need. Also, remember the mining industry already has many advocates including the government, individual Ministers and MPs, MRA, DEC, Chamber of Mines etc, but who is standing up and putting across any alternative viewpoint? Finally, PNG has a Constitution and Environment Laws, if these are being followed why are MCC and Highlands Pacific so afraid of going to court? Lets have progress but would you really want another Panguna or another Ok Tedi – especially on your doorstep?

      • Wesely

        Ramunickel’s comment above is misleading.
        By taking the matter to the Court without even approaching the relevant regulatory bodies and giving them a reasonable opportunity to consider the issues as stated by her (then) clients Tiffany Nongoor effectively denied any resolution of her clients concerns through due process.
        It seems that this was her intended outcome and that she was pursuing controversy and not clarity.
        It is clear from the comments by Ramunickel that Tiffany Nongoor has attempted to set her self and the National Court up as the “regulator” of mining practice in PNG, a role which neither she nor Justice David Cannings are (clearly) competent to take on, hence the idiotic outcome with Canning J’s embarrassing excuse ridden about face.
        Neither MCC nor Highlands Pacific were ever “afraid of going to court” rather, it was simply a pointless exercise as the Court has no power to interfere with due process under statute.
        Nor was the litigation ever run as a common law action.
        This entire matter has been frustrating for all parties because the “alternative viewpoint” referred to by RamuNickel, being what?…..an alternative to permitting the development of appropriate governance and policy in the Mining Industry in PNG?
        That has been the effect of her litigation where she seeks that policy to be developed by Cannings, a very strict NONO with regard to the Doctrine of the Separation of Powers.
        Cannings so called judgement is unconstitutional in that context.

      • Wesely

        Sadly, “Ramunickel” has never really acknowledge the critical role that government regulatory process should take in the matter of the Ramu project and recent litigation.
        Ramunickel says “But lets make sure major projects are environmentally and socially appropriate and well-managed so they benefit as many people as possible – especially those in most need” but the history of what has happened indicates that this statement is not genuine.
        Ramunickel aslo says that the “mining industry already has many advocates including the government, individual Ministers and MPs, MRA, DEC, Chamber of Mines”
        This statement is misleading.
        DEC and MRA are not “advocates” of the mining industry.
        They are the Regulators of same.
        It seems that “Ramunickel” would set him/her/themselves up publicly as the regulators of the mining industry in PNG.
        This is remarkable for the one reason that nothing in the long protracted and really pointless process that occurred in the Ramu litigation to date has even come closely to supporting a strong mining regulatory regime in PNG.
        This very issue was, in the main, COMPLETELY ignored by the Plaintiffs lawyers and Ramunickel throughout the entire process from the outset when, prior to litigation, the plaintiffs had every opportunity to come to the regulators and discuss the matter.
        The door was always open but they refused to take that step and instead litigated.
        There is some thing dishonest and ingenuous in this stye of “problem solving” but of course, Ramunickel is free to rebut this claim and it would be in the National Interest if they did, as re-stated below.

    • billross

      Well done Betty. You understand the issues

  5. Steven Gimbo

    Dear editor,

    I enjoy reading the Ramu Mine Watch everyday, and forward it to my colleagues. I should like to know who or which organisation publishes this site, and the information contain therein.

    Please inform me, so I should know where I am getting my information from and because of transparency and public interest.

    Cheers.

  6. Steven Gimbo

    Dear editor,

    I enjoy reading the Ramu Mine Watch everyday, and forward it to my colleagues. I should like to know who or which organisation publishes this site, and the information contain therein.

    Please inform me, so I should know where I am getting my information from and because of transparency and public interest.

    Cheers.

    Reply

  7. Mathew YAKAI

    FOR SAFETY REASONS WE WILL NOT DISCLOSE

    • Zhushaoshi

      Do not mislead PNGans

    • Mathew,

      At least some information about the author but not necessarily to disclose personal particulars.

      This gives the blog a credibility with its articles.

      Cheers!

      Avid Reader!

      • Avid Reader of the “Melanesian Way Admin”
        Don’t worry about the identity of “Ramunickel”.
        The people behind this blog (Ramu Nicel”) have no apparent bigger picture view of reform or institutional change accross the boatrd with respect to regulatory practice.
        Rather, they have an agenda with a relatively limited focus.
        More value is found in commentary on this blog.

      • Nibem Kalapkas

        Don’t worry bro, it is only because interested or concerned people want to share about how and what they feel about this major development in the world. It is like new medium of sharing information of how we feel so we discuss about will happen tomorrow and not about what happened already because part part is only a history.

  8. I would like to know more about the leaching.

  9. hiroshi

    The good news there might be another way soon

    Indonesia holds 12% of the worlds laterite nickel ($20,000 a tonne).
    At the moment in order to extract laterite nickel huge costs to the environment are made using large amounts of sulphuric acid which are non-recyclable .

    Recently a private company in Australia, Direct Nickel is developing a new way of extract the laterite nickel and it is only months away from completing phase 3.Which has a dream list of features.

    ◆ Recycles key reagents (+95%), significantly reducing operating
    costs, and producing more environmentally benign tailings

    ◆ Fast take lead consistently high recoveries of nickel and cobalt,
    over 95% (Aker Solutions PFS/2)

    ◆ A much lower operating intensity than HPAL and smelting plants

    ◆ Low capital and operating costs

    Sulphide nickel (the easily mined stuff) is running out so this new technology could be the answer.70% of the worlds laterite nickel is found in Brazil Australia Indonesia and Papua New Guinea .

    Direct Nickel are drilling on their 50% licence in Mambare, in Papua New Guinea and is planning to add 7-9 million tonnes of nickel into a inferred and indicated category.

    Nickel is used in stainless steel.

    [IMG]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STIRzzc-qEc[/IMG]

    • Fed up

      thankyou hiroshi!

      this information is much appreciated. appropriately qualified people out there can critically respond to your post regarding the scientific intricacies. but to most of us, breaking it down and explaining it to us in everyday language as you have done and then telling us what all that means to our environments and our livelihoods is all we want to know.

      we obviously make huge sacrifices when people develop large scale mining with various levels of environmental destruction. for us, environmental protection is not an isolated goal because of the way our entire livelihoods revolved around it. so your post is appreciated.

      we also have other issues with mining such as its very narrow economic focus and therefore the perpetration of the economic exclusion of a majority of our people in the activity. but those are internal issues and are best left for another discussion.

  10. Zhushaoshi

    Do not mislead the PNGans, FED UP. Don’t hide your name to PNGans.

  11. hiroshi

    I dont have any time at the moment,but over the weekend i will post you some more detail about this new DNi tech.And how it is going to have a massive effect on nickel mining in PNG, Ramu for example could be mined this way.

    The company developing this tech. is a private company but it plans to float on the HKSX in a few months time.They have a joint venture 50/50 with Regency Mines who own the Mambare licence in PNG.They are test drilling there as i type and are targeting 7-9 million tonnes.It is commonly expected that this target will be reached as lots of exploration has taken place there in the past,the infill drilling taking place will put the resource into inferred and indicated.Results will be in around in 3-4 months time.

    This youtube link is Regency Mines CEO explaining way he chose DNi as a partner and what is wrong with all the other methods of extracting laterite and limonite nickel.

    BTW DNi tech does both.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myXaMNdEvE8 (listen to all of it)

    company website

    http://www.directnickel.com/

    presentation

    http://www.directnickel.com/pdf/mines-and-money-hk.pdf

    Basically this is a good story,it might be an idea for this website to follow this up,because it is a private company not many people know about it.

  12. I did post earlier,but it didnt seem to work.I am not typing it up all over again.

    Heres a youtube link which explains why this new tech. is so much better than the extraction method used at Ramu.

    And a presentation link

    http://www.directnickel.com/pdf/mines-and-money-hk.pdf

    There is a PNG connection

  13. Zhushaoshi

    PNG MINE WATCH lools like a anti-mining website.

  14. hiroshi

    High pressure acid leaching technology it this companies chosen method of extraction.This must be because limonite and laterites are present,a heap leach treatment would have been used otherwise.Setting up something of this scale doesnt come cheap $2 billion minimum and that is before bribes.This method uses up a lot of energy and the acid heat at 205c heat causes expensive damage to the plant and equipment over a short period of time.With low grades as is common with laterite deposits and the added transport pipe costs to the coast, it is hard to see this project being economically viable.

    Was there ever a feasibility study conducted?

    800 -1000 kgs of sulphric acid are used for every ton extracted and all that acid finishes its journey out at sea,and it is the waste issue only that i have a problem with.

  15. hiroshi

    http://www.ramunico.com/download/updater/Presentation%20at%20the%2010th%20PNG%20Mining%20&%20Petroleum%20Investment%20Conference.pdf

    Follow it down to the environment page and there is a diagram showing how they are planning the dump the waste.

  16. Has anyone been following the revisions being discussed regarding the Convention of the Law of the Sea?

    http://statehoodhawaii.org/2011/03/16/in-tpp-lore-singapore-rules-the-pacific/

  17. hiroshi

    Peru cancels Tia Maria copper mine project after protests

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-13025971

  18. hiroshi

    There’s an interesting article on the bbc website today about China’s thirst for Iron Ore.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/hardtalk/9451824.stm

  19. This is the future, Mambare in PNG is this companies largest asset,Ramu could fail once this new tech. comes into production.

  20. Also this is the latest presentation.They fully expect to be mining in PNG within 3 years using this new environmental tech.Not only is the Direct Nickel extraction method environmental it is a lot cheaper to run and because of that should nickel prices fall Mambare will still beable to run at a profit where as the likes of Ramu and any other HPAL system miners will be running at a lost because of the high costs involved in running this type of plant. and because of their high capital costs,ie. interest on the $2billion loans they took out will still need to be paid.

    My point is Ramu and its peers can only be successful if Nickel stays above$20,000 a tonnes anything below that amount equals bankruptcy.

    Worth keeping an eye in the price of nickel as Ramu’s future is total dependant on it.

  21. Jo

    Hi, just wanted to say that I appreciate your blog highlighting mining in PNG. It definitely needs the lime light especially when the government is more interested in the capital gain and not the environmental impacts.

  22. http://www.immevents.com/our-events/the-8th-annual-china-nickel-conference

    An update on Ramu.

    Looks like our friends will be presenting at the 8th Annual China Nickel 2011 Conference.

    18-19 May 2011 | Sheraton Shanghai Hotel & Residences, Pudong

  23. Day Two – Thursday 19th May 2011

    11.40 Update on Ramu Nickel
    Ms. Luo shu, President, MCC – JJJ Mining Development Co

  24. Also

    ALTA 2011 NICKEL-COBALT-COPPER PROGRAM

    WEDNESDAY 25th MAY

    3.30 – 4.00 pm Ramu Nickel Project Update
    James Wang, Chief Technical Officer, Ramu NiCo Management (MCC) Ltd, PNG

    http://www.altamet.com.au/documents/next%20conference%20program/ALTA%202011%20Ni-Co-Cu%20Program.pdf

  25. Cant help but think it is game over for Ramu

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-13/nickel-plunging-into-bear-market-as-expanding-glut-outstrips-record-demand.html

    At a time of scarcity in everything from crude oil to copper to corn, nickel is heading for the biggest glut in four years, driving prices lower into 2012.
    Next year’s surplus will rise to 60,000 metric tons from 12,000 tons in 2011, making nickel the most oversupplied metal relative to output or use, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the most-accurate forecaster tracked by Bloomberg over two years. New mines will boost supply 11 percent in 2012, the most in 17 years, Macquarie Group Ltd. says. Prices may drop 10 percent to $20,000 a ton by Dec. 31, the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 17 analysts and traders shows.
    “I’m not particularly optimistic about nickel,” said Ian Henderson, who manages about $10 billion of natural-resource assets at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in London, including the Global Natural Resources Fund, which doubled in two years. “I don’t think there is a commercial logic for the price where it is today. A nickel price of $15,000 is entirely possible.”
    While raw-material producers are failing to extract enough copper and oil and droughts threaten crops, nickel supply is expanding faster than demand. Prices reached a record $51,800 in 2007 and moved at least 63 percent a year since then, leading consumers to use more substitutes than in any other major commodity, Macquarie says. Ikea Group, the world’s largest home- furnishings retailer, is removing the metal from kitchen and bathroom products.
    Stainless Steel
    Used mostly in stainless steel, nickel fell 10 percent to $22,283 this year by 4:46 p.m. on the London Metal Exchange, making it the second-worst performer after raw sugar on the Standard & Poor’s GSCI index of 24 commodities, which advanced 11 percent. The MSCI All-Country World Index of equities is up 0.3 percent and Treasuries returned 3.1 percent, a Bank of America Merrill Lynch index shows.
    Construction and transport account for 37 percent of nickel demand, with another 18 percent used in machinery and electrical applications, according to UBS AG. Consumption of 1.51 million tons in 2010 was worth $33 billion at last year’s average price.
    Declining prices mean profit at OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel, the world’s biggest producer, will probably be little changed this year, Chief Executive Officer Vladimir Strzhalkovsky said in an interview June 8. Nickel accounted for about 43 percent of the Moscow-based company’s 2009 sales.
    “If there is a glitch in the global economy, demand for industrial metals will go down,” he said. “It’s dangerous to depend on nickel.”
    Winning Streak
    The bear market ends a two-year winning streak when prices more than doubled. As demand rebounded from the worst global recession since World War II, supply was curbed by strikes of a year or more at Vale SA (VALE3)’s Sudbury and Voisey’s Bay mines in Canada. The disputes have ended and the Rio De Janeiro-based company predicts a 56 percent production gain this year.
    Lower prices may force higher-cost smelters to curb or halt output, limiting declines. China is the world’s biggest nickel producer. The nation’s least-efficient makers of nickel pig iron, a cheaper alternative to refined nickel, need about $20,000 a ton to break even, according to Societe Generale SA. Reduced demand from stainless steelmakers and rising energy costs make it more likely that privately owned smelters will shut in the second half of 2011, the bank said in a report.
    Nickel Pig-Iron
    Chinese imports of nickel ore rose 29 percent in March from a year earlier and 33 percent in April, spurring analysts to anticipate a similar increase in the country’s production. Those assumptions could be wrong because the ore may be of a lower grade, reducing the amount of metal that can be extracted and curbing the pace of production growth, Societe Generale said in a report June 3. Nickel pig-iron output in China may surge 50 percent this year to as much as 240,000 tons, according to Antaike Information Development Co.
    Mining costs are surging. The cost of everything from wages to energy to changes in exchange rates rose a combined 25 percent in Canada, 18 percent in Australia and 12 percent in Russia last year, according to UBS.
    Prices were partly supported this year by a 17 percent decline in stockpiles monitored by the LME. With Barclays Capital predicting that the market will move into a supply surplus in the third quarter, that trend in inventory may reverse.
    The surplus in aluminum will narrow to 301,000 tons this year, from 609,000 tons in 2010, Bank of America Merrill Lynch estimates. Prices for the metal used in aircraft and cars rose 6 percent this year on the LME. The glut in zinc will drop to 11,000 tons from 675,000 tons, the bank forecasts. Zinc retreated 8.1 percent in London since the start of January.
    Oil Market
    Production of copper will fall 380,000 tons short of demand in 2011, compared with a 108,000-ton deficit in 2010, Bank of America Merrill Lynch says. Prices declined 6.9 percent this year. Lead, which declined 0.2 percent since Dec. 31, is moving into a shortfall of 61,000 tons from a surplus of 35,000 tons, the bank predicts. Supply of tin, which fell 5.8 percent this year, will be 12,000 tons less than demand, the same amount as in 2012, Barclays Capital estimates.
    The oil market is using inventory and the spare production capacity of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to meet consumption, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said in a report May 23. Both will eventually become exhausted, requiring higher prices to restrain demand, the bank said. New York-traded crude oil rose 8.7 percent this year.
    In agriculture, Rabobank International expects supply deficits in corn, soybeans, wheat, coffee, cotton and cocoa in the 2010-2011 or 2011-12 seasons. The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Agriculture Index of eight commodities jumped 73 percent in the past 12 months.
    Economic Growth
    Nickel supplies are increasing at a time when economic growth is showing signs of weakening. U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said June 7 the recovery remains “uneven” and “frustratingly slow,” three days after the Labor Department reported that employers added the fewest jobs in eight months.
    German industrial production fell for the first time in four months in April, the Economy Ministry said June 8. A day earlier, the World Bank cut its 2011 global growth estimate to 3.2 percent from 3.3 percent.
    While stainless-steel output rose 8.6 percent to 8.39 million tons in the first quarter, a record for the period, the International Stainless Steel Forum said last month that gains won’t be sustained through the year. The Brussels-based group’s members account for about 75 percent of global output. Rising production may also mask a swing toward demand for steels containing less nickel or substitution with other materials.
    Kitchen Products
    Ikea, based in Stockholm, plans to almost eliminate nickel from its bathroom and kitchen products by August 2012, said Gaetano Ronchi, a senior manager at the company’s purchasing arm. Of the 80,000 tons of stainless steel it uses annually, 88 percent is now nickel-free, he said.
    With nickel accounting for at least half the cost of 300- series stainless steel, the most common type, the retailer is not alone in seeking alternatives. The steel’s market share fell to 56 percent last year from 72 percent in 2000, Macquarie estimates.
    Nickel demand now is about 20 percent lower than it would have been if prices hadn’t jumped more than fourfold to the 2007 record in the space of 18 months, according to Jim Lennon, the head of commodities research at Macquarie in London who has been following the market for three decades.
    The switch from nickel-bearing stainless steels means less potential to absorb additional supply. Vale will start the furnace at its Copper Cliff plant in Sudbury in June after four months of repairs. Xstrata Plc (XTA), based in Zug, Switzerland, reopened its Falcondo plant in the Dominican Republic in the first quarter, having shut it in 2008.
    Iron Ore
    Norilsk resumed production at its Lake Johnston mine in Australia last week, after halting operations in 2009 because of costs. While the company forecasts a 5.9 percent increase in output this year, it wants to decrease its reliance on nickel in favor of copper, iron ore and coal.
    Pacific Metals Co., based in Tokyo, Japan’s largest ferronickel producer, plans to open its Hachinohe plant in June after repairing damage caused by the country’s earthquake in March. Ferronickel contains about 38 percent nickel and is used by stainless-steel makers as a cheaper alternative to refined metal. New supply is also coming from projects in Brazil owned by Vale and London-based Anglo American Plc.
    “Nickel probably has the most bearish outlook of all the metals,” said Michael Widmer, an analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in London. “The thing that saved the market in the last two years was the strike at Vale. Someone will have to cut output, or delay projects.”

  26. Anon

    Hiroshi

    I don’t think that the Ramu Nickel Project is about anything other than having a strategic supply line…..and inventory
    Nickel has always been a hard metal to mine and market.

  27. Karanas Lewa

    I was hoping you could give some insight into the moratorium imposed on the Mineral industry by the New Ireland Provincial Government.
    What are the political, legal, constitutional implication of such a stand.

    • Wesely

      There is no legal power given to the NIPG to stop any Mining Practices.
      This is merely just another one of Sir Julius Chan’s fantasies of power and self delusions.

  28. Although I am annoyed by this news,I am comforted by the fact that I am certain the mine will eventually be closed down due to it not being economically viable ,once nickel prices fall below $20,000 due to over supply caused by too many nickel mines coming online.

    http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/pacbeat/stories/201107/s3278843.htm

  29. Ramu Nickel must be closed down.

  30. Louise

    Just wondering if anyone can assist me with a University project of mine with some insight into Lae PNG.
    Background Information: We have been given a site in Lae PNG in which we need to prepare a development proposal for. We are proposing to construct a residential tower with expat mining executives as our target market. Lae has just become the most dangerous place in the world to live. With this in mind we are proposing our site to be a gated community/secure compound for the executives to stay. We propose to create a self contained community with a supermarket, restaurant, bar, gym, pool and tennis courts.

    1. What accommodation facilities would your executives require? Studio, 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom etc.
    2. Would they have their families visiting them?
    3. What social facilities would they be expecting?

    Thank you in advance for any feedback you can give me.

  31. Bill Jenkins

    Louise, nice idea but how about instead of focusing on housing for expats in Lae, you have a look at model community for all mine workers (say the Wafi Project) irrespective of their point of hire?

    The current MMJV set up at 9 mile has nice houses but was not appropriately designed as a community but rather modeled after an Australian Army barracks.

    I’m sure they’d be keen on your ideas for the future.

  32. sandy daisley

    my twin can;t work out why the people of PNG haven’t any health care, virtually no education, she said someone should find out why

  33. wesely

    Yes, its a simple but very important question and your daughter has a right to know.
    Its called “corruption”.

  34. Nibem Kalapkas

    If nickel is useless how about considering MCC Ramunico a fail project in a frail and weak country. Come on ChingChongs reconsider and recommend to delay or withdraw you guts for. Chinese never give up but with this controversal project of Nickel mining they will certainly withdraw because they have been dealing with weak leaders of this country like bribing them to support and not with the roots of the resource communities.

  35. Ramu nickel will not fail if both parties have a heart to build a healthy relationship and focus on the issue at hand. corruption does not lead only to the down fall of one but also the nation behind you. its a call to be responsible.

  36. Wesely

    Pkaura
    Very wise words………..

  37. earleydaysyet

    FYI: Nautilus is advertising in Brisbane for a Corporate Social Responsibility Co-ordinator (http://m.seek.com.au/job/23958950):

    “Looking for a challenging career with a world leader in seafloor mineral exploration?

    Nautilus Minerals is at the forefront of an exciting new industry. We are the first company in the world to commercially explore the oceans for massive sulphide deposits – a potential source of high grade copper, gold, zinc and silver.

    Nautilus was granted the first mining lease for such deposits at the prospect known as Solwara 1, in the territorial waters of Papua New Guinea. The company has also been granted its environmental permit for this site.

    This is just the beginning of the journey for Nautilus. With more than 500,000 km2 of exploration tenements in the western Pacific as well as in international waters in the eastern Pacific, we are looking to rapidly grow our operations in the next few years and find the right people to take Nautilus into a new era of mineral production.

    We are currently seeking a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Coordinator to join the Nautilus Minerals team in the Milton office. This position will be responsible for administrating the CARES program (see Nautilus CARES website), providing executive support to the VP Corporate Social Responsibility and the health, environment and community team in PNG.

    […]

    If you are the sort of person others describe as highly organised, efficient and capable, and you can combine this with a passion for health, environment and community, then this might be the perfect position for you. Apply now or contact recruitment@nautilusminerals.com for further information.

    We are paving the way for the deep water seafloor resource production industry. Ask yourself: are you ready to take the plunge?”

  38. Paul Lynch

    Interesting news

  39. Hello, I’m a Chicago-based journalist attending the Rio Tinto AGM in April; doing a long term project about Rio Tinto and covering the meeting for Earth Island Journal and afterwards other outlets. I’m wondering if anyone from PNG Minewatch is attending the AGM or otherwise up for talking? Kari Lydersen, kari.lydersen@gmail.com

  40. Wesely

    Why don’t you speak with the citizens of these nations rather than lobby groups.
    Your perspective would be far more accurate, enhanced, and constructive.
    I have forwarded your details to RioTinto,.
    They may also be able to assist.

  41. Tree Frog

    How deep are your pockets Nautilus. Some rat will no doubt take up your offer. Pull the other one. Thanks x

  42. Abdul Rahim Aki

    How much tin is mined annually in Madang/Lae region? Where are the tin concerntrates smelted into tin ingot? Is there a Tin Refinery in Madang/Lae? Your prompt reply will be appreciated.

  43. Lasarusa Yehuda Sovea Ben-Zion

    I wish to remain with your PNG Mine Watch, as I have been with for the many months passed.Vinaka Vakalevu.

  44. Lasarusa Yehuda Sovea Ben-Zion

    I wish to remain with your PNG Mine Watch. I was recently un-subscribed. May you have a wonderful month. Vinaka Vakalevu.

  45. Good that you are covering mining activities in Papua New Guinea. We are following your blog

  46. Does PNG considers the long term environmental effect if deep sea mining goes ahead. http://news.pngfacts.com/2013/10/png-seafloor-mining-project-set-to-be.html

  47. Some mining companies have been instrument in Education development in PNG. I have read some articles especially Ramu Nickel is doing in improving education for the local communities

    • Robert

      Yes – lots of good support from mining companies in education however it rarely gets reported for some reason.

      • Brad Stone

        Entirely agree. Rio Tinto, for example, provided Bougainville with a marvellous education in the great depths of depravity mankind will plumb to protect profits. They also learnt about white phosphorous, 81mm mortars, AR15s, human anatomy, and combustion.

        Over in Western Province Ok Tedi have been giving people practical classes in what happens when you dump unimaginable amounts of waste in a vital waterway. The classes I hear are riveting.

        MCC gave landowners a mighty legal education; they learnt volumes as Justice Canning approved MCC’s mine waste disposal method while noting its illegal and disastrous dimensions.

        Up in the Highlands Exxon sponsored Mobile Squads teach protesting landowners about the velocity of bullets. Fascinating!

        And absolutely this fantastic provision of corporate education is rarely reported on by the media. For shame!

      • Visionary 2050

        Robert and Brad you are both a couple of phuckwhits.

  48. Any mining companies supporting the 2015 Pacific Games ? . I have not read many mining company coming on board to support the games.

    • Robert

      Since Tolakuma and Ok Tedi are state owned enterprises I’m sure they will support the games. Doubt that Barrick, Newcrest, or MMJV will support given the games are centred in Port Moresby.

  49. One of the devastating damages down by Mining Companies in PNG are on peoples’ health. Our environment is damaged, our river systems are contaminated and marine life dying out. People are getting all sorts of diseases. How are mining companies in PNG helping on peoples general health and well being?

  50. John

    there are an asian company on woodlark isalnd. they have no environmental permits, have dun no awareness with locals and are about to log the last virgin forest on the island. you can all say bybeye to the cuscus. its all happening right under everyones noses and all people on this site can talk about is some mine that may never even get of the ground. get real.

    • Mark Stubbs

      John, Having lived on the island I know that people there can be blinded by money with no knowledge or idea of the consequences of the agreements!

    • Tony Tweete

      John, can you please let us know more about the identity of this Asian company? It really is the forestry and logging companies that do a lot more damage than the mining companies. Remember…mines tend to dig down and not across!

  51. Tony Tweete

    One of the issues with a site like this is that it often seems to attack all mining – would it be too much for you to attempt to categorize the mines and projects that are most offensive? Or is the view here that PNG is not mature enough to host any mines at all? Have you considered how much more land is disturbed by palm oil and forestry than mining?

  52. P Green

    After reading Brian Brunton’s comments on Twitter I believe he is ineffective. Such a long term association with Greenpeace seriously reduces his credibility. Are there any balanced voices on this website? Are their comments allowed to pass the moderation that they are subject to?

  53. Finley Tuoraeke

    Iam a environment advocator conducting awareness on the impacts. of development

  54. paul mimfin

    Need to put / post some issues relating to Landowners how and where can I send my issue for posting on web site.

  55. Great blog. We wonder if you would cover Educational Mining Resources on your site?

  56. kalmbach agiru Heka Api Pangira

    thank you very much about the my home land kili teke should be one day Gold and copper mining there I really enjoying.
    thanks,
    kalmbach Agiru Heka Api Pangira.

  57. Pingback: Voice of Melanesia » Papua New Guinea Mine Watch

  58. Thanks for keeping people informed on latest mining in PNG, Pacific and the world. Are there any mining companies providing mining scholarships for studies here in PNG or abroad?

  59. Rex kundaka

    Hi all friends,

    Barrick is refuse to pay equal compensation to 119 PRFA victims in porgera PNG, we all prfa victims calling Barrick to pay equal compensation. It is sensitive issue in porgera PNG to slove the problems to pay equal compensation with school fees for three years, medical fees for three years and business Start up for three years.

    Thank you very much, all international supporters for support 119 PRFA victims to pay fair compensation by Barrick gold cooperation.

    Thank you.

  60. Hi Papua New Guinea Mine Watch Team,

    My name is Anuj Agarwal. I’m Founder of Feedspot.

    I would like to personally congratulate you as your blog Papua New Guinea Mine Watch has been selected by our panelist as one of the Top 60 Mining Blogs on the web.

    http://blog.feedspot.com/mining_blogs/

    I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world. This is the most comprehensive list of Top 60 Mining Blogs on the internet and I’m honored to have you as part of this!

    Also, you have the honor of displaying the badge on your blog.

    Best,
    Anuj

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