NBC News / PNG Today | 12 October, 2019
The Chinese owned Ramu Nickel company who is developing the Ramu Nickel Project in Madang has brushed aside the scientific findings of the Switzerland scientist who was engaged by the Madang Provincial Government to carry out an investigation into the Basamuk Spillage.
Swiss-based scientist, Dr Alex Mojon, whom the Ramu Nickel Company described as a self- proclaimed scientist, revealed his findings on Wednesday this week in Port Moresby.
The company said Dr Mojon’s investigation was not authorized by the Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (CEPA) – the regulated government body to conduct such investigations.
Dr. Mojon was engaged by the Madang Government following recent reports of dead fish being discovered in Madang waters and people developing complications after allegedly eating contaminated fish and swimming in the sea.
Findings by Dr Mojon revealed that Basamuk has suffered extensive pollution over the years, as a result of Ramu Nickel Mine carelessly dumping its wastes into the Basamuk Bay over the years.
However, Ramu Nickel says it will only accept the officially sanctioned report from the CEPA investigation.
The company also says it doubts whether the scientific report and Madang Provincial Government’s engagement are independent in nature.
A statement from the company states that the Swiss Report may be independent for the Madang Government but not for Ramu Nickel and they will out rightly ignore the findings.
Ramu NiCo is also asking CEPA and other government authorities to confirm if the Swiss scientist was authorised to collect samples and produce – what it says is a ‘damaging report’ towards a genuine foreign investor.
The Company also said it was not consulted by the Swiss scientist before visiting Basamuk to collect samples of dead fish, water, sand and pebbles for testing.
Meantime, Minister for Environment and Conservation Geoffrey Kama told NBC News, the report into the ‘Basamuk spillage’ by CEPA will be presented in Parliament next week.
Mr. Kama says the National Executive Council has already approved the report.