Tag Archives: Highlands Pacific

Governor Orders Probe Into Ramu Nickel Mine

Gorethy Kenneth | Post Courier | November 28, 2018

MADANG Governor Peter Yama has commissioned a team of environmental experts to immediately conduct an environment damage assessment on the Ramu nickel mine.

Mr Yama announced this yesterday after raising serious concerns on how the Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (CEPA) has handled the environmental damages surrounding the Ramu Nickel Project in Madang.

“It would be irresponsible for me as governor for Madang not to outline to my people the provincial government’s stand on the current and future operations of the US$2.1 billion Ramu Nickel project,” he said.

At the end of 2012, the company completed full construction and started full operations, and was now operating at its peak.

Mr Yama had noted the landowners of Ramu Nickel project’s concern over:

  • The environmental impact, Ramu Nickel project is having on their lives; and
  • The lack of infrastructure, and social inclusion in the sustainability of their lives.

“These issues are serious and the state of the environment is currently unknown, I am aware that Conservation and Environment Protection Authority has not been monitoring the discharge of deep-sea tailings for a couple of years, posing a major threat to our marine environment.

“As such I have immediately commissioned a team of environmental experts including marine biologists to conduct an environmental damage assessment to better place me to seek redress.”


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Landowners want Ramu mine to shut down

The National aka The Loggers Times | November 23, 2018

LANDOWNERS of the Ramu Nickel mine in Madang have petitioned the government to shut down mine operations following the signing of a K5 billion extension programme last week.
Landowner association chairmen representing landowners of project impacted areas in Bundi, Usino and Raicoast petitioned the Government through Mining Minister Johnson Tuke to shut down mining operations within seven days.
Their reasons were that Ramu Nickel management and Government did not take into the account interest of landowners before they signed the agreement for mine expansion.
They said they did not know the content of the agreement.
The copy of the petition was presented to Ramu Nickel yesterday.
Kurumbukari Landowners’ Association chairman Tobby Bare said signing of the K5 billion mine expansion took them by surprise.
Bare said there were a lots of issues that needed to be raised and captured in the agreement before signing.
The landowners raised several issues related to unfair distribution of spin-offs, rising social problems, and equal participation in project development in the petition.
The petition also included concerns about delay in the mine’s memorandum-of-agreement review.
Bare said landowners felt they were marginalised on their own land.
Raibus Group of Companies chairman Steven Saud said the K5 billion expansion was like “erecting another mine within the mine”.
He said over the last 13 years since the company started operations, landowners had learnt a lot.
Saud said there were certain things the company and Government should have done to meet expectations of landowners but had failed to do so.
Ramu Nickel management yesterday said the MOU signing done on Nov 16 in Port Moresby was “a high level understanding to demonstrate commitments by both PNG and Chinese governments to support the company’s expansion plan”.
“It is obvious that there is gross misunderstanding among ourselves that led to landowners issuing such threats, and making baseless allegations against the company,” the management said in a statement.
“However, we are committed to engaging with landowners in a mature and responsible manner and respond to each allegation levelled against the company.”
The management said the MOA review for the mine would take place once all stakeholders prepared their position papers. The MoA review would be due on December 13.

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Landowners Petition: Threats of Ramu Nico to shut down

Martha Louise | EMTV News | 23 November 2018

The landowners of Ramu Nico Project area have warned to shut down the company if their demands presented in a 3-page petition at 5:30pm yesterday (21 November, 2018) are not met within 7 days.

The landowners gave 7 days effective today (22 November, 2018) for the PNG government and the company to give them a favorably response to their demands.

Their actions follow the signing of the Mining Extension Agreement between the PNG and Chinese Governments and the Developer Ramu Nico Management LTD during the APEC.

As well as other issues affecting them since the establishment of the mine.

At around 5:30pm on Wednesday (21 November, 2018), the landowners presented their petition to Ramu Nico Management headquarters.

They say they do not know the content of the agreement signed, nor were they informed of the signing of the mining extension.

Adding they did not take into consideration the interest of the primary beneficiary, the landowners, the provincial government and the local level government.

They say since the establishment of the mine they have not been benefiting as expected.

Adding for the last 13 years they have not equally participated in the mine and have felt that they had been marginalized.

The landowners are demanding the PNG government and the Developer Ramu Nico, to respond to their four demands favorably before the 7 days lapse.

They also claimed a review of the MOA needs to be done as the previous MOA had already expired in March this year thus the company is operating illegally.

While also demanding a renewal of the compensation Agreement adding there was no relocation or resettlement program for landowners before the extension of the mine.

Ramu Nico Management Limited acknowledged the petition presented to them saying the MOU signed on Friday 16thin Port Moresby is only a high-level understanding.

This will pave way for other agreements and detail engagement which landowners will be consulted and will be required to get involved.

The company described the landowner’s reaction to the media and the threats to shut down the project as premature and irresponsible.

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MOU Between PNG and China Metallurgical (Group) Corporation

The Chinese have been ridiculed for the poor quality of some of their construction work for the Ramu mine

Post Courier | November 17, 2018

This MOU between PNG and China Metallurgical Cooperation continues since its inception in 2004 under the subsidiary development partner Ramu Nico Management Limited (MCC). The Ramu Nickel project under the MCC became solely responsible for all facets of the Project including financing, construction and operation. Having developed the Ramu Nickel Project into a world-class nickel and cobalt mining and refinery operation, MCC achieved successful operation of the project. In September 2016 when production nameplate capacity and design standard were achieved.

The purpose of the MOU in this regard to the forge that continuity and expansion of the project through MCCs further investment in the Ramu Nickel project on behalf of the development partners and the extent to which MCC proposes to invest in the expansion project. Further the MCC’s investment in the Expansion project will be a significant and concrete demonstration of the long-term commitment to and show string partnership China has with PNG and its continuous cooperation under the framework of “Öne Belt One Road” arrangement.

The Expansion project is also encouraged through excellent investment environment of PNG and will promote economic development for the State and local communities, improve labor training and employment, taxation and expense, local procurement and business, health and welfare, public infrastructure and administration among other benefits.

In concluding the signing will be done by Mining Minister Johnson Tuke of PNG and Mr Tang Fuping Chairman of China Metallurgical (Group) Cooperation on 16th November 2018

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Govt Announces Action To Resolve Basamuk Los Concerns

Landowners forced to take out media adverts to make Minister aware of human rights and other serious issues relating to MCC and the Ramu mine refinery

Post Courier | November 15, 2018

Minister for Mining Johnson Tuke has announced immediate action will take place to address the concerns of the Basamuk Limestone landowners of Madang Province.

Speaking from Goroka, yesterday, Mr Tuke said he was not aware of the alleged criticisms nor the human rights abuses and complaints made by the landowners until he sighted the one-page overly media release in this paper yesterday.

Mr Tuke said that he would in the next couple of days summon all concerned parties to his office for answers.

“I appreciate the concerns of the Basamuk landowners and I am now very aware of the matter so in the coming days I will call up the MCC and Ramu NiCo Management, the Mineral Resources Authority, Department of Mineral Policy and Geo-Hazards Management, CEPA, and other government agencies involved in this matter to sit with me and tell me what is going on,” he said.

“As the minister responsible for this mega industry, I cannot allow things like this to remain unattended to because our people, the landowners, are important in the mining equation just as the investors who bring in the dollars and development into our mining areas.”

Mr Tuke has asked that all landowners give him time to deal with the issues they have outlined and not take the matter into their own hands.

“I am just as concerned as you are so I ask you my people not to take any actions that will undermine the positive developments that are currently being initiated by the O’Neill-Abel Government, Governor Peter Yama and the Madang Provincial Government, and your local members Jimmy Uguro of Usino-Bundi, Peter Sapia of Rai Coast, and Ramu NiCo Management (MCC) Limited for the betterment of Madang,’’ he said.

“I ask you not to set up roadblocks and cause any other disturbances that may affect production because I as your minister, will take this matter up and seek the answers you desire.

“I will make sure the company MCC will be answerable and attend to all the outstanding issues.”

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Ramu Nico Plants Cocoa Trees In Mine Rehabilitation

Post Courier | November 13, 2018

Ramu NiCo Mine’s environment section at Kurumbukari mine in Madang Province began planting cocoa seedlings in the mined out areas of the Kurumbukari plateau as part of its mine environment rehabilitation.

More than 250 cocoa seedlings were delivered recently by the company’s Sustainable Agriculture section of the Community Affairs Department to KBK Mine Environment Section of the company’s HSE Department under the supervision of Allan Wahwah and Alex Kambual and planted at Mine Pit Two area.

The aim is to explore the growth rates and adaptability of cocoa, eagle wood and sandal wood in the mined out areas at KBK Mine.

Eagle wood and sandalwood are yet to be transported from the Forest Research Institute in Lae to KBK Mine for rehabilitation.

Mr Wahwah said that it may take a year or two to establish the assumptions and then recommendations would be proposed for mass planting. He said there are plans to raise KBK native seeds present in the KBK primary forest.

However, these will all be captured in a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) which he had developed and had already circulated within the company.

Mr Wahwah, a former agriculturist from PNG CCI, who now works with Ramu NiCo (MCC) Community Affairs planned with Mr Kambual to come up with cocoa planting at the mined out areas as part of rehabilitation. He said more collaboration between Ramu NiCo Community Affairs Agriculture section and the HSE Environment team was needed to carry out rehabilitation using cash crop as part of the sustainable source of income for the local landowners of KBK in the future..

He said CA Agriculture team would do an in-house training for the environment team at KBK on cocoa management practices.

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Communities reject planned Frieda river mine

Ambunti on the the Sepik River

“most of the river communities in Ambunti, Wosera-Gawi and Angoram have responded negatively”

By Clifford Faiparik | The National aka The Loggers Times | 22 October 2018

East Sepik Governor Allan Bird, pictured, says many communities along the Sepik River have expressed concerns about environmental impacts that will be brought about by the Frieda River mine.

Bird said this yesterday in response to reports of a team from the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) carrying out awareness on the mine along the Sepik River.

“Most of the river communities in Ambunti, Wosera-Gawi and Angoram have responded negatively to a team of officers from Mineral Resources Authority who were there to do awareness on the mine,” Bird said.

“Villagers tend to become suspicious of government officers conducting awareness on a project that will affect their environment.

“They are also suspicious that they will not get economic benefits from such impact projects, although the government officers had portrayed a promising economic and social benefits package to them in the awareness.

“MRA officers had been conducting awareness for two weeks amongst villagers along the river about the economic and social benefits from the Frieda mine.”

The mine is at Telefomin in West Sepik.

Meanwhile, the MRA officers said they had encountered some “misunderstandings” while conducting awareness.

“We were advised not to conduct awareness in those villages,” one of the officers said.

“This misunderstanding was created by a non-government organisation that was there earlier on conducting awareness on the mine.”

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