Tag Archives: Ramu nickel mine

Ramu mine gets notice to stop moving chromite

The National aka The Loggers Times | June 14, 2019

MADANG’S Ramu nickel mine has been issued a notice to stop transporting chromite from the mine area in Kurumbukari to Lae for export.

The Madang government issued the notice to Ramu NiCo management last Thursday following concerns raised by locals who use the Yuriya River.

Madang acting deputy provincial administrator Markus Kachau said the notice issued was for the mine to stop transporting chromite until the Yuriya Bridge had been fixed by the Works Department.

Kachau said the trucks transporting chromite had direct contact with the chromite before leaving Kurumbukari for Lae and had chemicals on them and once they came in contact with water the chemicals would pollute the area.

Madang works manager Andrew Kendaura said they had created a bypass for vehicles to cross while the bridge was being fixed.

Kachau said other vehicles could use the bypass but trucks carrying chromite would be barred.

Mathew Yakai, on behalf of the Ramu NiCo, said they would adhere to the notice.

He said the mine had created a job opportunities for locals and was committed to building a good relationship with its development partners.

Yakai, however, said having good communication and understanding to deliver the project was vital for the company and they needed to limit the stoppages to their operations.

Kachau said people’s health and welfare was the priority and the provincial government would do all it could to protect the people along the Yuriya river.

Kendaura said material had been brought in from Madang and Lae to fix the bridge.

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Scott Waide: Will PNG project reviews mean more benefits for landowners?

This year is a crucial year for Papua New Guinea’s mining industry as important players – in Hela, Porgera and Madang – are being examined over their performance. 

Scott Waide | April 7, 2019

Just into the fourth month of 2019, and resource projects in Papua New Guinea have come under scrutiny.

Early last month, senior ministers of government, including Petroleum Minister Fabian Pok, traveled to Komo in Hela for meetings with landowners of the gas project.

After 15 years, there is some progress. Or at least that’s the positive spin to it.

There appears to be some indication that royalties locked away due to legal battles and tangled by bureaucratic red tape were going to be paid – but only after landowner identification processes.

Finance Minister James Marape told the media three months ago, that K300 million (NZ$132 million) is parked at the Central Bank ready to be released. But landowners or people claiming to be landowners had to follow a process of “landowner identification” in order to be paid the money.

There is some hope of an end to disputes. However, the final settlement is still a long way off. That’s the reality. Many of the elders died waiting for the royalty payments they were promised.

Since becoming a new province, there is still a lot that needs to be ironed out. The Hela provincial government still has to work its way through layers of bureaucratic processes that continue to favour the Southern Highlands in terms of royalty payments from the gas project.

It’s all that and a lot more.

Background to complexities
Understanding the background to the complexities of the resource project in Hela means going back some 20 years when oil extraction ended and the promise of Papua New Guinea becoming the Saudi Arabia and Dubai of the Pacific faded as the crude oil taps shut off.

It is against that backdrop that the neighbouring Enga province is now looking at the Porgera mine’s renegotiation through a wardens’ hearing. This is a process that is reopened after the end of a mining lease.

Landowners and the Enga provincial government are looking at a bigger slice of revenues and benefits.

What did they get over the last 30 years? That’s a point of contention for pro-mining and anti-mining proponents.

What is visible to the international community is the campaigns against alleged atrocities committed against local people in Porgera and the desperate push by locals to get what little crumbs they can from a mine that has existed for 30 years on their land.

For the first time in more than three decades, it appears the national government is speaking a different language: One that calls for greater benefits into government coffers and landowner pockets.

This rhetoric has come after 30 years of gold extraction, 500 shipments of liquefied natural gas and billions of dollars worth of round log exports.

Production-based tax
In Lae, during the opening of the Central Bank’s Currency Processing Facility, Deputy Prime Minister Charles Abel talked about a production-based tax. Instead of a profit-based tax for resource projects which will be signed from 2019 onwards.

The general thinking from the national government is that a profits based tax can be deceptive leaving the government with very little to collect if a mining company declares losses or breaks even.

While Porgera discusses mine benefits, a similar process is happening in Madang. Triggered by an agreement between the Chinese and the PNG Governments, Ramu Nickel’s expansion is in discussions ongoing between the government and the developer.

The processes are long and drawn out. The risk is that without proper representation, landowners could be left with another raw deal for several more decades before another opportunity for renegotiation presents itself.

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Seems politicians are selling PNG

Concerned Taxpayer | Post Courier | 25 March 2019

Papua New Guinea is heavily reliant on revenues from the development of its abundant natural resources, which are owned by the country and its people.

Prudent management and development of the resources is the key to achieving sustained economic growth and development of this nation and its citizens. It will enable PNG to progress and achieve the status of a developed country.

Some of the obvious cases where politicians and their associates have made very poor decisions and sold the interest of this nation are in the development of mineral, petroleum, and gas resources.

The favourable and generous tax and other concessions granted to the PNG LNG Project and Ramu Nickel project, and the fast-tracking of project agreement negotiation and conclusion for some of the large gas and mining projects by way of signing of memorandum of agreements (MOUs) in recent times, is a clear demonstration that politicians are selling this nation very fast without due care.

The fast rate of growth in the nation’s debt in recent years is mainly a result of declining revenues from natural resources, and is a consequence of the poor judgment and decisions by our politicians and their associates.

This debt will consume all future revenues and the current and future generations of PNG will struggle to make ends meet.

There will come a time when PNG will deplete its natural resources and the nation will decelerate into poverty and despair, with all sort of social and economic problems, if our politicians continue to make poor judgment and decisions on economic policy and commercial interest of our country.

They key issues resulting in the on-going poor judgment and decisions are following:

– Politicians do not have the experience and technical skills for dealing with complex policy matters and commercial operations, which lends them easily susceptible to strong influence and control of interested parties and project developers;
– Government institutions lack institutional capacity and technical skills for dealing with complex policy matters and commercial operations, which lends them easily susceptible to strong influence and control of interested parties and project developers; and
– The lack of good governance resulting in the lack of transparency and accountability in dealing with complex policy matters and commercial operations. This compounds poor judgment and decisions made by Government bureaucrats and politicians.

The solution is to make the negotiation and decision making process of natural resources development in PNG become a fully transparent and accountable process. This also means that any relevant documents will become publicly available and accessible for use by the public. It will assist improve the quality of judgment and decisions made by the politicians and their associates.

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Tuke, Yama Want Fresh Deal For Ramu Mine

Politician’s love to make fancy promises – but do they ever actually deliver?

Post Courier | March 19, 2019

MINING Minister Johnson Tuke has said, before he signs any documents regarding the Ramu NiCo project, he needs to understand what is there for the landowners.

“When I understand and am really convinced then I will sign the agreement for the expansion, otherwise that will not happen,” Mr Tuke said.

He said he had discussed with Prime Minister Peter O’Neill the licence that government will issue for the expansion must be under a new agreement.

Mr Tuke said many mining companies usually say they will only give according to the MoA, however, there must be some form of kindness and humility when dealing with the local landowners whose land and water were given away for the project.

Madang Governor Peter Yama said the new expansion plan for the Ramu project will be properly discussed and he, as the head of the province, must be convinced that the people of Madang receive more benefits.

He said the old agreement that was signed before the construction and the operation of the Ramu Nickel Project must be done away with.

“The new agreement will be renegotiated, and the old agreement will be no more,”

He said that the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill during his visit to Usino had publicly announced that the new agreement will be a fresh start. Mr Yama said he is in full support of a new agreement for the Ramu NiCo Project, and stressed that all the parties that will be signing the agreement including the National Government, the provincial government, and the developer Ramu NiCo (MCC) must make sure the agreement provides better benefits to the people of Madang.

This is particularly for those from the impacted communities, the developer Ramu NiCo, Madang province, and the country.

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No Ramu extension until benefits are guaranteed: Govt

‘Ramu nickel mine is the worst ever State negotiated mine with no benefits to the locals’ – Yama

Loop PNG | February 12, 2019

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has announced there will be no extension of the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) for the Ramu NiCo mine in Madang Province.

The initial MoA was signed in 2000 and expired in March 2018. It is now due for a review, however the Prime Minister announced last Friday that there will be no agreement until government is sure there is fair benefit for the people and the State.

“The mine agreement has expired and we will renegotiate so that our people benefit most. Bai yumi stap na lukluk tasol ah? Nogat! Nogat! Em blong yumi. Yumi mas gat sampla sher stap insait. Bai yumi stretim, Gavana bai yumi stretim, mark my words. Yumi mas lukautim ol pipol blong yumi pastaim,” O’Neill said. (Will we just stand and watch? No! No! This is for us. We must have some share in this. We will fix this, Governor we will fix this, mark my words. We must first take care of our people.)

He told Governor Peter Yama that they had a big task ahead to negotiate the new terms and conditions of the new agreement.

Yama expressed passionately that the Ramu NiCo mine was the worst ever State negotiated mine with no benefits to the locals in Kurumbukari and Basamuk. Concerns have also been raised that other minerals apart from nickel and cobalt have been extracted and exported.

“The people of Basamuk must have spin off businesses. They must have good roads, good housing, health centres, schools, water supply and electricity. Right now Rai Coast and Usino-Bundi are the least developed districts in the country despite being hosts of the Ramu NiCo mine and also the Ramu Agro Industry for Usino Bundi,” Governor Yama said.

Minister for National Planning, Richard Maru, visited Basamuk last Thursday and met with the mine operator, MCC, and encouraged all stakeholders to now focus on a way forward that will benefit the company, province, landowners and the State.

At the moment, the State is not an equity partner in the mine project. There has not been any corporate tax and no Goods & Services Tax paid by the company since production began in 2012.

Furthermore, there is no benefit sharing agreement for the landowners in the project. Minister Maru said in the future, MoA’s must have benefit sharing agreements where landowners, the host province and the State must have shares in the project. This will be the case for Wafi-Golpu Mine, the Frieda Copper Mine and any other upcoming mines in the country.

“MCC is not the enemy, we are partners in development and so in the negotiations for the new MoA, we must ensure win-win situation for all parties involved,” Minister Maru said.

He said Madang had the economic potential and opportunity to double and triple its internal revenue and become a major economic hub in the Momase region. Minister Maru challenged Governor Yama and all the other MPs from Madang to focus, cooperate, communicate more for the greater good of the province.

Minister Maru is certain MCC has by now recovered its initial investments in the mine. This also explains why the Ramu mine is looking to invest a further US$2 billion to double production. The State, provincial government and landowners must now take up equity in this lucrative mine under the new agreement that the Government will take on together with MCC. The challenge now is to properly identify the landowners and Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) must ensure this exercise immediately by MCC.

In saying that the company must not feel that it has to solve all the problems in the area, Minister Maru encouraged MCC management to participate in the new-look Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme which will be launched in March. He also urged the company to work with the PNG Government to seek grant funding from the Chinese government to build most needed infrastructure in the Usino-Bundi and Rai Coast districts.

The particular focus would be to build a highway between Erima to Saido and other roads, health and education facilities within these two districts.

The Ramu NiCo mine has a 135km slurry pipeline that runs through Usino-Bundi and Rai Coast districts.

Minister Maru also maintained that mines should do away with the fly-in fly-out arrangement and return to the model of the Bougainville Copper Limited where mining townships must be built at the mine sites.

Governor Yama also supported the position of the Government of Morobe and the Tutumang Government that there shall be no “Fly in Fly Out”, for the Wafi -Golpu Mine Project and other Mines and Resource Projects into the future.

“We will maximize revenue flows from all these projects to go to the local people, landowners and to our Government and to remain in the country. Hospitals, schools, a township and other utility services are built there. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t use this model,” Maru said.

“If we want to allow the revenue from these mines to rotate within PNG and help build our country, in the form of taxes, employment and so on, we must walk away from the fly-in fly-out arrangement.”

Maru said the Government is committed to build a highway from Erima to Saidor in Rai Coast District to assist the people living along these areas access markets and services and is seeking the support of the Chinese government to focus their development grants away from Port Moresby to two the remote districts of Usino- Bundi and Rai Coast, which hosts the only Chinese owned mine in Papua New Guinea, the Ramu NiCo Mine.

A State Negotiation Team will be put together as soon as possible to commence discussion of the future of the mine and its stakeholders, including the State and the landowners.

The Prime Minister himself announced that he will chair the State negotiating team with the Madang Governor as key members of the State Negotiating Team.

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No tax paid by Ramu nickel mine

Terms Of Mine Extension To Be Renegotiated

Post Courier | February 11, 2019

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, has announced there will be no extension of the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) for the Ramu Nico in Madang province.

The initial MoA was signed in 2000 and expired in March 2018. It is now due for a review, however the Prime Minister announced last Friday that there will be no agreement until government is sure there is a fair benefit for the people and the State.

“The mine agreement has expired and we will renegotiate so that our people benefit most. Bai yumi stap na lukluk tasol ah? Nogat! Nogat! Em blong yumi. Yumi mas gat sampla share stap insait. Bai yumi stretim, Governor bai yumi stretim, mark my words. Yumi mas lukautim ol pipol blong yumi pastaim,” Mr O’Neill said.

He told Mr Yama they had a big task ahead to negotiate the terms and conditions of the new agreement.

Mr Yama said the Ramu Nico mine was the worst state-negotiated mine, with no benefits to the locals in Kurumbukari and Basamuk. Concerns have also been raised that minerals, apart from nickel and cobalt, have been extracted and exported.

“The people of Basamuk must have spin-off businesses. They must have good roads, good housing, health centers, schools, water supply and electricity. Right now, Rai Coast and Usino-Bundi are the least developed districts in the country despite being hosts of the Ramu Nico mine and the Ramu Agro Industry,” he said.

National planning minister Richard Maru visited Basamuk on Thursday last week and met with the mine operator, MCC, and encouraged all stakeholders to now focus on a way forward that will benefit the firm, province, landowners and the state.

At the moment, the state is not an equity partner in the mine project.

There has not been any corporate tax and no goods and services tax paid by the firm since production started in 2012.

Furthermore, there is no benefit sharing agreement for the landowners in the project.

Mr Maru said in the future, MoAs must have benefit-sharing agreements where landowners, the host province and the state must have shares in the project.

This will be the case for Wafi-Golpu mine, the Frieda Copper mine and any other new mines.

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Environmental audit set for mines: Pundari

Ok Tedi. Photo by Glen Barry/Greenpeace.

Don’t hold your breath, CEPA and its predecessor, DEC, have been asleep for decades…

Luke Kama | The National aka The Loggers Times | February 4, 2019
MINISTER for Environment Conservation and Climate Change John Pundari says an independent environmental audit on Ok Tedi mine in the Western, Porgera in Enga and Ramu Nickel in Madang will be undertaken this year.
Pundari said this in Parliament on Thursday when responding to a series of questions raised by Gulf Governor Chris Haiveta on the new Ok Tedi Environment Management Bill (OTEMB) that was passed by Parliament on Wednesday, and pollution caused by the Ok Tedi Mine to Fly River and the surrounding environment.
“The Ok Tedi Environment Management Bill was crucial to regulate the Ok Tedi mine, which is in its advanced state of operation, to protect the environment and the livelihood of local communities,” he said.
“The mine will be issued an environment permit under Section 13 of the Ok Tedi Environment Management Act (OTEMA).
“That enables the Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (Cepa) to require the company to carry out periodic monitoring of the river systems to ensure that the environmental values defined in the permit are maintained.”
Pundari said any new activity that would take place outside the areas covered under the would be regulated through the Environment Act 2000.
“These activities are considered new activities and would require full environment impact assessment to be done on the proposed activity, before a decision is made under the Environment Act 2000,” he said.
Pundari said with respect to concerns on pollution in the Gulf of Papua, and other environmental concerns, Cepa would undertake an independent audit of Ok Tedi this year.
“Cepa will undertake an independent audit of the Ok Tedi mine this year, as it is necessary to determine the state of the environment, particularly with respect to the defined environmental values,” he said.
“Cepa will also conduct an independent environmental audit into Porgera mine, as the mine life comes to a closure, and as well for the Ramu Nickel Mine with report made to the public.”
Pundari said the audit would also assist to determine the areas of focus and future areas of environmental management and monitoring.

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