The Chinese management of the Ramu nickel project in Papua New Guinea has denied that its waste slurry pipeline routed along the Madang highway is a hazard.
The newspaper, The National, reports that the China Metallurgical Group Corporation, or MCC, insists all public safety and environment issues have been considered.
This comes after a leading PNG engineer, Simon Saulei, warned that the pipeline lacked proper foundations, and was constructed too close to highways and waterways.
The 134 kilometre pipe will run from the Ramu mine to a tailings dam and wharf in Basamuk Bay.
Many locals are concerned over plans to pump 100 million tonnes of waste into the sea once production begins.
However MCC says it's upholding the best available environmental standards.
It says it has a number of stations along the pipeline with an advanced pipeline leak detection system being installed to monitor operating conditions.