Tag Archives: Landholders

Yama – Fight Will Continue Until Ramu Mine Ops Cease

Gorethy Kenneth | Post Courier | October 22, 2019

Madang Governor Peter Yama assured the people of Rai Coast that the fight on the pollution caused by slurry spill from the Ramu NiCo’s Basamuk refinery would continue until the mine was successfully closed.

He travelled to Bindeng in Saidor, Rai Coast district, to officially close the week-long Kangal Festival last week.
The people of Bindeng called on the governor to pressure the national government to shut down the Ramu NiCo mine.

Spokesman Daniel Kala said it had almost been a month and the people had not heard from the national government on it actions to protect the people and the environment.

He said the ban imposed by the Madang provincial administration on the selling of fish in the province had affected their school children as well as their daily income opportunities.

Mr Yama said because of the urgency of the issue he had to rush from last Thursday’s Parliament session to be with the people and to brief them on the actions he had taken to pressure the government to take measures.

“I flew back to Madang and addressed my people on the stand the government would be taking on the Basamuk slurry spill incident. I assured my people at the Kangal Festival at Bindeng that I will continue to fight and make sure the mine closes,” he said.

He also urged his people to work together if they wanted to see change in their area. The slurry spill incident has caused fear among the people, especially when they go out to the sea, he said.

He said also that for too long the people and provincial government had not benefited from the mine and had become mere spectators on their own land.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Environmental impact, Papua New Guinea

Porgera Mine – A World Class Disaster

The Porgera gold mine has made people slaves on their own land, forced to scrape in the polluted mine tailings to try and earn the money to buy food and basic essentials. The owners of Barrick Gold and Zijin Mining should hang their heads in shame…

Leave a comment

Filed under Human rights, Papua New Guinea

PM Gives Assurance Of Further Ramu Mine Probe

Post Courier | October 18, 2019

Prime Minister James Marape says investigations into Ramu Nickel Mine slurry spill at Basamuk Bay in Madang will continue.

He said this after a lengthy and heated debate in Parliament yesterday after a report on the August 24, 2019, incident was presented by Environment and Conservation and Climate Change Minister Geoffrey Kama.

“I note most Members of Parliament have a conversation to make in regards to this ministerial statement presented,” Mr Marape said.

“As indicated by the minister, there’ll be further assessment and investigation.

“Every stakeholder, including the Governor for Madang (Peter Yama), has every right to have an interest in this matter.

“When matters relate to the security of our people, the interest of our people, and matters relating to the environment, it is just and responsible that we all have a concern.

“We note the concern that was raised by every Member of Parliament, especially the Governor for Madang and Member for Rai Coast (Peter Sapia) in the immediate precinct and affected areas.

“We are grateful for the comments by every leader this afternoon, in response to the statement minister has made.

”
Mr Marape said Northern Governor Gary Juffa had made a strong statement, as well as Kompiam-Ambum MP and former Environment and Conservation Minister, Sir John Pundari.

“Every other statement is also correct, finding the right balance,” he said.

“Our harvest of resources comes from the price on our environment.

“We’ve allowed those investors to come in, but the investors who come in must operate within responsibility and due care to our environment, to our country, and to our people.

“I think from the outset, without the specifics on the impact on the environment, the fact that there was a practical defect in the structure of the mine itself is an incident that warrants deeper study into what was taking place, in as far as the mine safety and operation is concerned.

“Cabinet did indicate this to the minister, and I note that minister’s statement embraces further investigation, further assessment.

“Let me assure people of Madang, people of Rai Coast, people of Usino-Bundi and people of this country, that this report and the investigation thus far is not conclusive and that is not the end of the story.

“The fact that there was a slip, which took place in the mine infrastructure, irrespective of the extent of the damage, warrants deeper scrutiny, deeper investigation, deeper assessment.”

Mr Marape assured the people of Madang, Usino-Bundi, Rai Coast, as well as the country, that all stakeholders including Madang government, Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (CEPA), Mining Department and other Government agencies would look deeper into what had happened.

Leave a comment

Filed under Environmental impact, Papua New Guinea

Madang people suffering from Ramu mine spill

A spill into the bay earlier this year turned the sea red. Photo: Facebook/ Elisha Wesley Mizeu

Luwi James | Post Courier | 18 October 2019

It is confirmed that sea waters in Madang is contaminated and poisoned by highly toxic slurry spill from the Basamuk refinery in Raicoast few months ago.

The independent Swiss specialist Dr Mojon who was engaged by the Madang provincial administration has confirmed this in his findings.

This will have a negative impact on the lives of people.
Madang provincial government has already warned the people not use or consume fish from the sea and this is likely to continue on for an indefinite period of time depending on the assessment and solution of this problem.

People living by the sea and on the islands like Karkar, Krangket, Manam,Bagbag, Long Island and other smaller islands have already started feeling the effect.
 The sea is their life and poisoning it is simply starving them to death.

The microsocio-economic cycle and protein supplement of these people has been completely snapped.

This issue also affects tuna production in Madang. Currently, the company is canning fish which are in stock and may stop canning, awaiting the purification of the sea from the poison. People are also afraid to buy canned fish sold in stores and supermarkets.

The deep sea tailing project (DSTP) has been challenged in court by landowners of Basamuk and MCC. The court issued the direction to have constructive measure and a proper regulation system in place to closely monitor the facility but this has never been done which has resulted in the spill and poisoning of sea water.

The people of Raicoast and those on the islands are experiencing all kinds of illnesses.
 Vegetation near the shores are turning yellow and drying up. Dead fish are filling the sea shores. People have been attributing these matters to black magic and sorcery but now they have come to realise that toxic waste from the mine has been the cause of these problems.

The department of environment, conservation and climate change and developer MCC are rebutting the report of the scientist is ridiculous. They are showing their lack of concern for the damage done and how to solve this issue amicably.

The Madang provincial administration must be applauded for undertaking this issue seriously and that the mine has to stop until all investigations are done and proper measures are in place to guarantee the safety of our people.

Leave a comment

Filed under Environmental impact, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

Yama Claims Two Dead After Eating Contaminated Fish

Post Courier | October 18, 2019

MADANG Governor Peter Yama claims two men have died after eating contaminated fish caught in the polluted Basamuk area.

He told Parliament yesterday that post-mortems would be done soon to confirm his fears.

Mr Yama said this when disputing a statement by Minister of Environment and Conservation, Geoffery Kama, which dismissed the seriousness of the situation at Basamuk.

Mr Kama had told parliament that the discoloration of sea water was due to 200, 000 liters of raw slurry that had overflowed from one of the company’s surge tanks within the Basamuk plant site and did not pose any danger to the environment or people. Tests have also been done to prove this, he said.

“Due to the tests done, I would like to inform this house that marine waters around Basamuk Bay and nearby areas are safe to swim, and for recreational purposes only.”

An irate Mr Yama demanded for the immediate closure of the Ramu nickle mine until proper scientific and environmental tests were done. “Next week six scientists will be in Madang not in the name of Peter Yama but for the interest of the people of Madang, East Sepik, Morobe and West Sepik and the country,” he said.

“Why are the animals dying and ending up on the shore of the bay, why are we telling lies, close the mine, prosecute and send them packing or else you will see a protest march that will close down Madang Province.

“This plant at Basamuk is the worse mine this government has allowed to sit in the province, the way it is set up is not like a mine,” he added.
Mr Yama claimed the company had not paid any taxes to the Government or paid royalties to landowners.

Leave a comment

Filed under Environmental impact, Papua New Guinea

MPs Query Basamuk Spillage

Simon Keslep | Post Courier | October 15, 2019

The Basamuk slurry spillage was again raised in Parliament last week Friday by three Members of Parliament.

Tewai-Siassi MP Dr Kobie Bomareo asked if marine life is affected and the wider effects alleged to have reached as far afield as Bogia and even parts of his district in Morobe province who share the sea border with Rai Coast (Madang).

“There are reports that marine life is affected in the sea and I have heard that this is spreading to Bogia too.

“Can the Minister (Environment and Climate Change) inform us in this House (Parliament) and the people of Madang and Morobe on the latest approach his ministry is doing to address this matter?” asked Dr Bomareo.

Minister for Environment and Climate Change Geoffrey Kama in his response said whatever marine destruction that happened in Dr Bomareo’s district is outside of Basamuk. The minister said the spillage at Basamuk which included the raw material from Kurumbukari caused by tank blockage that overflowed about 200,000 litres of raw material.

“Sixty per cent of the spillage went into the tank and 40 per cent flowed into the sea.

“The colour of the sea is something new to the people which they have not seen in their life. At that time we sent out officers to collect samples and send it down to Brisbane, Australia for testing,” said the Minister.

Mr. Kama said it took 15 days for the results to come back and now they have asked a local expert to check and interpret the results.

“We will get the interpretation and inform the people.

“I want to make it clear to this parliament, the people of Basamuk and wider Madang that test shows there is no major destruction occurring but rather change of sea colour. Next week in Parliament, I will read out the result to everyone,” said Mr Kama.

“There are evidences of fish, dogs and animals dying. The minister must explain well on this,” queries Wewak MP Kevin Isufu.

Minister reverts saying it is important to establish facts given there are investors in Madang and everyone (MPs) must abide by law.

“However Ijivitari MP Richard Masere said the minister has the responsibility to the people and if we are unsure then it shows a lot of gaps that we are unaware of. “There needs to be a formal statement on this issue.

If there is already threats to our people then what actions will the minister take to ensure we put a stop or temporary suspension on the mine.

“Until a formal investigation is taking place and we understand fully the implications of these spill will cause… These spill will have detrimental effects into the future, our children may be born with defects’,” said Mr Masere.

Leave a comment

Filed under Environmental impact, Papua New Guinea

Expert says lab results from PNG Ramu nickel spill ‘alarming’: report

Melanie Burton | Reuters | October 11, 2019

An expert in chemical contamination has called test results from the Ramu nickel spill into Papua New Guinea’s Basamuk Bay in August “alarming,” according to a local media report on Thursday.

A spill at Metallurgical Corp of China (MCC)’s nickel processing plant located in Madang, on the country’s northeastern coast, caused the surrounding ocean to turn red and left a muddy residue on the rocky shoreline, according to locals and photographs of the incident at the time.

The spill occurred as a result of an operational and administrative failure, a government official said at the time. MCC now faces compensation claims and calls from the local governor to close the plant.

Environmental remediation expert Alex Mojon took samples from the bay in September, according to a news report from Papua New Guinea’ EMTV Online.

Mojon has previously worked for Swiss oil remediation company Man Oil Group AG as its chief scientist, according to his LinkedIn profile.

“I have to tell you that it’s alarming … there is evidence that Ramu Nico is not managing their waste and that is a fact. I have obtained the results from the laboratory from Germany … I am shocked,” Mojon told local media, according to EMTV Online.

All of the 28 samples tested were found to have toxic levels of heavy metals contamination, the EMTV report said, citing Mojon.

Mojon did not immediately respond to emailed requests for comment.

A spokesman for Ramu Nickel did not have an immediate comment while a call to MCC went unanswered. But an executive in August said that company management was “extremely concerned” about the incident and that it would address compensation once its investigation was complete.

An investigation by the country’s Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (CEPA) is due to be made available in the next week, according to media reports.

In a televised press conference on TVWAN news, Mojon said that some of the spillage had not dispersed and that local residents had complained of smoke from the plant that irritated their skin and eyes.

“We welcome a copy of the report produced by Alex Mojon to be presented officially to CEPA, MRA and other interested organizations before we could make any comments,” said Jerry Garry of Papua New Guinea’s Mineral Resources Authority told Reuters.

“We cannot fully appreciate and comment on his report until a copy and presentation is made to CEPA,” Garry said.

3 Comments

Filed under Environmental impact, Papua New Guinea