Tag Archives: MCC

Rising tide of opposition to large-scale mining in Papua New Guinea

Porgera Landowners protest against Barrick Gold (2018).

PNG Mine Watch

Opposition to large-scale mining in Papua New Guinea is becoming more and more visible as communities become much more vocal in expressing their anger and disapproval.

Both existing and proposed new mines are feeling the heat from landowners who are realising the benefits they are promised are illusory and it is they and their families who suffer the severe negative environmental and social consequences of large-scale resource extraction.

Landowners in Enga have lodged a US$13 billion claim against the government over unfilled promises and environmental and social damage from the Porgera mine. The miner is owned by Barrick Gold and Zijin Mining and has been operating since 1989.

Meanwhile landowners in Madang are petitioning the government not to allow a planned K5 billion expansion of the Ramu nickel mine and they want the existing Basamuk refinery shut down. Again, it is the lack of tangible benefits and the environmental and social costs that are angering local people.

Proposed new mines in Morobe and the Sepik are also facing opposition.

Last week, landowners in Morobe forced the evacuation of the site of the proposed Wafi-Golpu mine. They are unhappy at the terms of an MOU agreement signed by the government with the mine owners, Harmony Gold and Newcrest Mining.

The landowners protest is supported by Morobe governor Ginson Saonu, who has already declared his opposition to the mine:

“People are not like before, when they had no knowledge, no idea, no education to read what’s happening in other parts of the world where there is environmental damage and so forth. Everybody is knowledgeable about what’s happening in other mines around the world, and even in Papua New Guinea like Ok Tedi, Bougainville and others.

The governor has identified agriculture and tourism as better development options in his Province.

At the same time, the Morobe Provincial government has passed a resolution rejecting the MOU for the mine and landowners living along the coast have declared their opposition to the planned dumping of toxic tailings in their seas.

The proposed Frieda river mine, to be developed by the Chinese company Guandong Rising Assets Management, is also facing strong opposition from landowners worried about the impacts of mining on the Sepik river, which is their lifeblood.

Communities have been organising their own protest meetings and have banned Mineral Resource Authority representatives from entering some areas.

Similarly, communities around the abandoned Panguna mine on Bougainville, have successfully petitioned against any moves to reopen the mine, forcing the Autonomous Bougainville Government and governor John Momis into an embarrassing climb down.

In another blow to the mining industry, Nautilus Minerals is on the brink of financial collapse, unable to complete preparations for its proposed experimental seabed mine, Solwara 1. Local communities and environmentalists have been waging a long running campaign against the mine.

Although the PNG government still seems determined to press ahead with new mining operations, the resistance from local communities, both those affected by existing mines and those threatened by the new operations, shows no signs of abating .

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Ramu mine stake to change hands in overseas deal

Cobalt 27 Capital to acquire Highland Pacific

Mining Technology | 2 January 2019

Cobalt 27 Capital has signed a scheme implementation agreement (SIA) to acquire all of the issued ordinary shares in Highlands Pacific which it does not already own through a scheme of arrangement (SoA).

Currently, Cobalt 27 is the largest holder of Highlands shares, with an interest of around 13%.

As per the terms of the SoA, shareholders of Highlands will receive A10.5 cents cash per share, provided all applicable conditions are being met or waived and the scheme is being implemented.

This consideration represents a premium of 43.8% over the closing price of Highlands shares on 24 December 2018 of A7.3 cents and takes the equity value of Highlands to around A$115m ($80.9m).

The consideration will increase by A1.0 cents cash for every share to A11.5 cents, provided before the end of this year, the closing spot price of nickel exceeds $13,220 per tonne over a period of five consecutive trading days.

This SoA will need the approval of 75% of shareholders of Highlands who are entitled to vote. Voting will take place at a shareholder meeting, which is expected to be held in mid to late April this year.

Additionally, the scheme will have to be approved by the PNG National Court.

The major asset of Highlands is its 8.56% interest in the Ramu nickel-cobalt mine (Ramu), located near Madang in Papua New Guinea.

After repayment of Highlands’ attributable construction and development loans for the Ramu project, its ownership will increase to 11.3%.

Ramu is majority-owned and operated by Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC).

MCC holds a 67.02% stake in MCC-JJ Mining that owns all of MCC Ramu NiCo (MCC – Ramu), which inturn holds 85% joint venture interest in Ramu.

The Government of PNG and local landowners own 6.44% stake in Ramu. This stake would increase to 8.7% following repayment of construction and development loans.

MCC financed and constructed the Ramu mine for $2.1bn.

Cobalt 27 chairman and CEO Anthony Milewski said: “The acquisition of Highlands will allow Cobalt 27 to gain a direct interest in the Ramu nickel-cobalt mine and materially increase its attributable exposure to the mine’s nickel production from 27.5% to 100% and cobalt production from 55% to 100%, relative to the previously announced Ramu Cobalt Nickel Stream.

“It does so at nearly half the cost of the previously announced Ramu Cobalt Nickel Stream, provides increased balance sheet flexibility, and enhances value for Cobalt 27 shareholders. It also brings cash flow to our business, something we have told our shareholders was important from the beginning.”

In October 2018, Highlands announced that MCC is exploring a potential expansion of the Ramu mine, which could cost around $1.5bn. The details with regard to a potential expansion, however, have not been finalised yet.

Cobalt 27 expects to have the opportunity to take part in any potential expansion and boost its attributable production through its purchase of Highlands following the SoA.

Highlands has interests in the Star Mountains Copper Gold exploration project in PNG and is reviewing the Sewa Bay laterite nickel project in PNG along with Sojitz Group, a Japanese trading firm.

Cobalt 27 plans to review strategic alternatives with regard to these non-core assets.

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The Ignorant Response By Mining Minister Johnson Tuke Over Basamuk People’s Voice Petition

Mining Minister Johnson Tuke

The Papua New Guinea Woman | December 17, 2018

The Mining Minister Hon. Johnson Tuke has made some ignorant blunders that can cause more problems for the State, the Developer Chinese Metallurgical Corporation (MCC), provoke landowners by adding fuel to land issues fires and most importantly deprive the people of Rai Coast their Constitutional right for inclusivity in the development of our resources and access to basic Government services and infrastructure. 

The Minister’s ignorant blunders undermines the Government’s own decisions since 2001.  It also demonstrates how the Government undermines the welfare of its own people and does not respect the elected leaders at the Ward and LLG level. 

I’m sure the Prime Minister genuinely wants to listen to the people.  He is a decisive Prime Minister who is known to “fix things” not done right in the past.  It is also in the interest of the O’Neill-Abel Government.  

The Minister’s actions and undermining statements is also contrary to the Developer MCC’s concerns and calls issued through their paid Press Statement published in the Post Courier on 23 November, 2018. 

THE BASAMUK PEOPLE’S VOICE

Before I talk about the ignorant blunders, let’s get the record straight about The Basamuk People’s Voice (BPV).  The group consists of genuine landowners plus all the people in the mine-impacted area and RaiCoast.  We are an interest lobby group working with our duly elected political leaders at the Government closest to our people for the common purpose of development for our District.  You can read more about who we are and what we stand for here.

It is our Constitutional right to demand for our rights. We the people have been marginalized for too long.  One day on 01 December, 2018 we joined our hands and voices together for a common shared interest and purpose and conveyed the collective views and demands to the few who represent us.

We are members of theLandowners Association (LOA), which is the party to the MOA.  We are also members of our Wards and LLGs which are party to the MOA.

Our developmental issues are not addressed through our LOA organization, partly due to landownership disputes which the State failed to address for over 17 years.  More so, it is due to the level of education, knowledge and the ability of our people to engage in such discussions.

Political leaders at the national level have also failed to raise these very genuine issues on the floor of Parliament for over 17 years.  The people have had enough so we have organized ourselves to speak up.

Minister, I’m sure we did not breach any law of the country by organizing ourselves and giving you a petition signed by 1215 people and their 5 elected Ward Members.

OUR PETITION

Our petition was very genuine, for common good.  We are demanding the Government to setup a high level Review Team made up of officials from MRA, Madang Provincial Administration, Lands, CEPA, National Planning, Provincial Affairs, Treasury, and Prime Minister’s Office to look into these issues, and met our demands, starting by Financing and Building our ROAD.

  • Road (Madang-Morobe Coastal Highway).  PNG is party to China’s “One Belt One Road” Initiative.  We’ve seen K Billions of Chinese money build roads all over the country and Port Moresby, but not Rai Coast where the Chinese live.
  • Environmental Impact Assessment.  This affects everyone whether one is a landowner or not.
  • Relocation away from the hazardous refinery.
  • Review and stop fiscal incentives of the 10-year tax holiday of Corporate Income Tax so company can utilize the funds under the Tax Credit Scheme to build infrastructures.
  • Immediately address the existing mine’s issues, amongst them the landownership issues. 

THE IGNORANT RESPONSE BY THE MINISTER

I quote the Minister’s response:  “I totally condemn the misinformation they are feeding the people through the media in their quest to create disharmony and distrust in the mining industry and the Government of Papua New Guinea

The Minister is effectively saying that:

  • Our claim that we need road is misinformation;
  • Our claim that we have environmental issues that needs independent assessments and relocation of people is misinformation;
  • The fiscal incentives is misinformation;
  • The landowner issues that needs resolving is misinformation;
  • The K5 Billion extension project is misinformation;
  • The 2019 National Budget and the MTDPIII [2018 – 2022] does not have Rai Coast Road or major infrastructure for Rai Coast is misinformation.

What an ignorant response! 

Our demands for inclusion in the development of our resources and access to basic rights like infrastructure, water, sanitation, medical services, education and safety is our basic human right.

It is an understatement to declare that our demands for our rights is a quest to create disharmony and distrust in the mining industry and the Government of Papua New Guinea.  We have no intention for any of that.

You PNG Government are our Father/Mother.  You have a responsibility to us, your citizens. This is the first time in 13 years we are speaking up.  We are not citizens of China so you leave us at their mercy! 

THE IGNORANT BLUNDERS

1.       The Landownership Issues and Landowner Associations

The Basamuk People’s Voice (BPV) is a neutral body that petitioned the Government to address the land dispute as Gazetted in G169 of 2001, and again exempted from Government’s Compulsory Accusation in 2002 (G51 of 2002]. The existence of the dispute has deprived us of development. 

The company MCC, in a paid Press Statement, on November 23 2018 also called upon the Government to have the matter resolved so they can establish better relationship with all stakeholders and fulfill their corporate social obligations.

Developer MCC stated that it “categorically refutes all false allegations and claims by a certain individuals with vested interest claiming to be Chairman of the so-called Basamuk LOA and the Limestone LOA, contained in Post Courier of Tuesday November 13 and Wednesday November 14 2018”.

The Developer MCC also stated “Ramu Nico is aware that there are 3 different factions claiming as the legitimate representative of the Basamuk LOA.  The company has yet to receive a form notice from the regulator…”

The BPV is NOT one of the 3 different factions.  For the first time, BPV brought the 3 different factions together for shared common interests, so we can work towards better developmental outcomes for our people

Minister’s Blunder No.1: The Minister recognized one of the 3 different factions as genuine landowner.  This is in breach of the Government’s own decisions and Government’s failure to resolve the matter in 17 years.

The Developer MCC has publicly declared their stand on “certain individuals with vested interests” and called upon the Government to have the matter resolved.    

Minister’s Blunder No. 2:   The Mining Minister is not the legal authority [Special Land Titles Commissioner] to solve landownership disputes and declare landowners.  He should heed the call by the Developer and the people to listen and find a neutral ground to resolve the issue.

It is in the best interest of the people, the developer and the State that the Government cease dealing with landowner associations in dispute. It should move swiftly to review its processes to determine the dispute.  This is also the desire of the Developer.

The Basamuk People’s Voice is the common ground that the landowners and people have found, led by our elected Ward Members.  We genuinely want to find solutions to our problems.  It should be recognized for its efforts until the landowner disputes are resolved.

Blunder No. 3 – Disputing Genuine Landowners        

The Minister is ignorant of the fact that the Ramu Nico Mine have various leases.  There are recognized landowners from Kumbukari, Usino, Astrolabe Bay and Basamuk.  For Basamuk, whilst there are 3 small different factions with dispute over Lease for Mining Purpose No. 42, we have many legitimate landowners for other leases.

As the spokesperson, I am a duly recognized landowner under the Project, for Prency State lease land, Mining Easement No. 75.  MCC just paid me and my family royalty.  It’s contradictory for the Minister to call me “self-professed LOs”. 

The Basamuk People’s Voice is made up of people like myself who are genuine recognised landowners, for the existing project and for the proposed extension.

Minister, we formed the BPV to demand for our developmental rights because there are disputes with the 3 different factions of the LOA over one lease area.  This has hindered our development and participation aspirations.  The State has failed to address the issue, nor carry out due diligence over the land dispute before inviting the Developer to invest Billions on Kina in the Project.

Whether the Government like it or not, the BVP is here to stay.  It represents the collective interests of the Rai Coast people, including genuine landowners and mine-impacted communities.  We will never back down but work with our elected representatives the Ward Members, at the Government closest to our people, for social justice.

Blunder No. 4 – Avoiding the Educated People

A tactic we have observed over the years is that the agents of the State and Developer avoid the educated people and deal with those with limited education. 

Let me point out a Media Release by Chairman of the so-called Basamuk Landowners Association Sande Suang, published in the Post Courier of November 13 and 14.

He says:  “We are simple landowners with limited formal education.  I only have grade 6 formal education and am among a handful of landowner leaders with limited formal education”.

The Minister held discussions with a party that has Grade 6 formal education.  Why this matters?  It’s obvious they can be easily exploited and manipulated, and our people of Rai Coast will be misled.  They won’t be in a position to “communicate”our pressing issues and major developmental issues. 

When our people with limited education run the Associations, we have not seen major developments that will benefit many people who are impacted by the mine – not only landowners!   

WAY FORWARD

The BPV’s Petition dated 05 November, 2018 still stands.  We duly note the Mining Minister’s dismissal of our petition.  We ask him again to re-consider based on the facts presented here.

We call upon the Government to set up a high level Review Team from relevant agencies stated above to review our petition and provide report to the NEC on way forward to resolve the issues.  The Basamuk People’s Voice represents the people and we want to be a part of the Review.

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PNG government rethinking China mining deal after opposition

Radio New Zealand | 13 December 2018

Papua New Guinea’s mining minister says the government is looking at changing parts of a mining deal struck with China.

In November, China and PNG signed a $US148 million memorandum of understanding to extend the Ramu nickel mine’s refinery in Madang’s Basamuk Bay.

But more than 1,000 locals are now threatening to shut down the Basamuk refinery if their demands aren’t met.

They want funding for a local highway extension and other local benefits from the Chinese developer, the Metallurgical Corporation of China.

The minister, Johnson Tuke, met with landowners on Tuesday and said he’s now raising their concerns with the company.

“There are some terms and conditions of the MoA might change and the treasury department are waiting on certain terms and conditions of the physical responsibilities too.”

The petitioners have given the government until 19 December to respond to their demands.

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Petition to Stop the K 5 Billion Ramu Nickel Extension Project and Shut Down of Basamuk Refinery

On Saturday, 01 December 2018, we the landowners and the mine-impacted communities of Basamuk held a public forum at Ganglau Village.  I did education and awareness on:

  • The 2019 Budget, the Medium Term Development Plan III (2018 – 2022) and where Rai Coast is positioned in these plans;
  • The recently held APEC Meetings and some of the decisions that came out of that which will affect the people; and
  • The APEC gift K5 Billion Deal MOU signed on 16 November 2018 between PNG’s Mining Minister Hon. Johnson Tuke and the Chinese Government for Ramu Nickel Extension Project.

Following the forum, 1215 people signed a petition to stop the K5 Billion Extension Project and even shut down the Basamuk Refinery and limestone mine if the Government fails to hear us.  For thirteen (13) years, our voices have not been represented in Parliament and have been suppressed because we’ve been told to raise such issues through our elected MP and the landowners association.  For obvious reasons, our voices get drowned between Cape Righy and Godawan.

This time, with the support of five (5) elected Ward Members, we’ve formed The Basamuk People’s Voice which complements the petition by the four (4) LOAs from Kurumbukari to Basamok.  We have been deprived of our natural justice enshrined in our National Constitution and Directive Principles for far too long.

Our petition is directed to the Minister for Minister for Mining Hon. Johnson Tuke, and copied to the Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill, Minister for National Planning, Hon. Richard Maru, Governor for Madang Hon. Peter Yama, Minister for Provincial Affairs, Hon. Kevin Isifu, President Ramu Nico Management (MCC) Ltd Mr. Gao Yongxue, and the Chairmen of the 4 landowner Associations from Kurumbukari to Basamok.

OUR PETITION

Dear Honourable Minister,

SUBJECT:  PETITION TO STOP THE K 5 BILLION RAMU NICKEL EXTENSION PROJECT AND SHUT DOWN OF BASAMUK REFINERY

We the landowners and the mine-impacted communities of Rai Coast and Astrolabe Bay Rural LLGs, and particularly the Basamuk landowners, of Rai Coast District of Madang Province hereby present this letter of petition to you as Minister responsible for mining, the Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill, the National Government and the Madang Provincial Government.

During the APEC Summit on 16 November 2018, you signed an MOU with the Government of China, witnessed by our Prime Minister and the President of China, Xi Jinping, for a K5 Billion Ramu Nickel Mine Extension Project deal.

We the people of Rai Coast say NO to the use of our land, sea, rivers, limestone and people for the Extension Project unless our demands are met.

Our people have not benefited from key infrastructures nor socio-economic development for over 13 years since the Chinese first set foot at our doorstep.

We therefore demand the following from the Government:

1.       ROAD (MADANG TO MOROBE BORDER)

We demand urgent and priority funding for the missing link Madang-Morobe Coastal Highway, which will connect Madang to Basamuk and beyond.  In the PNG Development Strategic Plan 2010 – 2030, this area has been identified as one of the 10 economic corridors, with big economic potential but most disadvantaged.

Rai Coast District has huge economic potential in Agriculture, Tourism, Fisheries and MSME.  For example, statistics from Cocoa Board shows that Rai Coast District has the highest number of cocoa fermentries and we produce the most cocoa in Madang Province.  We need this key infrastructure to open up the resource-rich Madang-Morobe coastal economic corridor.

Since PNG joined China’s “One Belt One Road” (OBOR) Initiative, we have seen the Government build massive infrastructures in Port Moresby City.  We have seen Billions of Kina Chinese-funded new road networks in the Highlands, hospitals and agriculture projects.

We the Rai Coast people have been hosting the Chinese for 13 years.  Their State-owned company MCC’s biggest footprint is in our villages, our seas, rivers, and the air.  Yet we have ZERO major high impact infrastructures, the most obvious one being the road.

The sea continue to be the graveyard for hundreds of Rai Coast people.  We continue to take this risk every day.  The District’s social indicators are very low.  Lack of infrastructure, transport and access to energy hinder us from economic participation.

Minister, this time we will not allow any further Extension Project and we will also shut down the refinery if the Government does not start building our road and bridges as of 2019.

2.  ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT AND ASSESSMENT

We demand an independent assessment by environmental professionals on the impact of the Mine on the people, their livelihood and the environment.  This must not be sponsored by the Company nor done by CEPA, as they have compromised and failed us over a decade.  There is a Court Order for 3-monthly assessments that has never been adhered to.

We demand the Government to immediately review and stop the special permission granted to the company to burn heavy oil for electricity.  We understand this heavy oil is banned in rest of the world.  We demand an urgent independent assessment into the quality of air from sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide air emissions.

We demand the company be held to task to immediately produce hydro-power from the many rivers we have and even serve electricity with the people as per the Government’s rural electrification agenda.

No health baseline study has ever been conducted to date.  Human use of sea and fish tissue is not analysed.  The medical and safety standard of the mine is appalling.

3.  RELOCATION

Permanent relocation of people away from the hazardous refinery area to Yalau Plantation and the development of Yalau Township as one-stop LLG Town and Service Centre for the District.

4.  REVIEW OF FISCAL INCENTIVES

We demand an urgent review and cessation of the fiscal incentives of 10-year tax holiday given to the Developer.  This tax holiday has effectively transferred wealth from Papua New Guineans to China.

The Developer must now pay taxes and this be utilized under Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme for vital infrastructures like roads, schools, health facilities and Infrastructure Development Grants for the mine-impacted Districts.

5.  ISSUES WITH EXISTING MINING LEASES AT BASAMUK

We have existing issues that the Government and the Developer has failed to resolve.  Some of these matters have been raised by the Four (4) Landowner Associations in their petition of 21 November, 2018 to you.

For Basamuk, notable is the landownership issue which the State’s decision and the Developer’s ignorance has caused.  The Basamuk land dispute was gazetted in the National Gazette in 2001 (G169 of 2001).  The land was exempted from Government’s Compulsory Acquisition process in 2002 (G51 of 2002).  This decision was held by the National Court in 2007.

Both GoPNG and the Developer are illegally operating on our land.

Both GoPNG and Developer did not conduct due diligence to identify the land gazetted as Volume 27 Folio 142, containing an area of 87 hectares acquired for Mining purpose.

This is different to Volume 26 Folio 65, identified by registered survey File No. 12/257 containing an area of 83.989 hectares, erroneously referred to as Mindre Portion 109 that contains the modified survey of Basamuk, which falls short of the original survey.

Mindre and Basamuk are two different lands.  The Government did not properly acquire the land and the documents/evidence we have on hand indicates fraud on the part of the State, contempt of Court and the Developer illegally residing on our land.

We therefore demand the State to immediately look into this matter, have it resolved and pay the parties concerned compensation as stated in Section 53(1) and 53(2) of the Constitution.

We now give the State 10 working days to respond to this petition.  If we do not hear from the State nor get a positive response for further discussions, our next course of action will be to:

(i)       Completely stop any Extension Project.

(ii)      Shut down Basamuk Refinery as it is illegally operating on our land, in contempt of Court.

We are optimistic that the Government will respond favorably to our petition.  We understand the PNG-China relationship and look forward to further dialogue with your Department, the Madang Provincial Government and the State.

…………………………………………….

END OF PETITION

  • Petition letter signed by Chair of The Basamuk People’s Voice – Ms. Kessy Sawang
  • Press Conference on this held in Madang town on Wednesday 05/12/18.
  • Hand-delivered to all parties
  • Chair had good meeting with Mining Minister.  He assured me that we’ll have a meeting with relevant agencies Tuesday 11/12/18
  • Petition due date is 19 December, 2018
  • The petition will be made online and we ask as many people as possible help us petition and socialize this matter.  Please help us fight for our rights.

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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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