2 May 2007

Court action promised if PNG government doesn't initiate review of Ramu nickel agreement

1:28 pm on 2 May 2007

A lawyer for one set of landowners calling for a review of the Memorandum of Agreement over the Ramu nickel and cobalt mine says the Papua New Guinea government has until the end of May to act or face court proceedings.

Nickson Kiuk says both the government and the Chinese developer appear to have breached the agreement.

He says in the agreement, which was first signed in 2002, landowners are entitled to various spin off benefits, and the government promised 3.5 million US dollars to landowners to kickstart this process.

He says a review of the agreement was to have taken place in October 2005.

Mr Kiuk says all parties reached an understanding earlier this year that the review was to have been done two weeks ago, but nothing has happened.

"So currently the government has especially undertaken that they will do the review as soon as possible. And as I said we've put the state and the company on notice that if there's no review being done, then we will pursue the case in court and we will seek an order in the court to sanction the review."

Lawyer Nickson Kiuk.