2 Feb 2004

Chinese company to build PNG's Ramu nickel plant

2:06 pm on 2 February 2004

A Chinese company has agreed to invest 650 million US dollars in a major nickel project in Papua New Guinea.

This was announced by the PNG mining minister, Sam Akoitai, after last week's talks with the China Metallurgical Construction Corporation in Beijing.

The Ramu Nickel Cobalt project in Madang province has been drawn up by Highland Pacific Limited and the Mineral Resources Development Corporation whose boards are yet to finalise the deal.

Mr Akoitai says the framework agreement is to be signed in Beijing next week in the presence of the two countries' prime ministers.

The Chinese company is set to start construction before the end of the year and employ about 1,000 people.

It will also buy the nickel produced by the plant.