5 Jun 2008

PNG governor talks underway over Ramu Nickel project

3:47 pm on 5 June 2008

The Governor of Papua New Guinea's Madang province says a dialogue is underway to address landowner concerns regarding planned waste disposal by Ramu Nickel mine operators.

Work on the 955 million US dollar mine being built by China Metallurgical Construction Corporation, or MCC, is being opposed by landowners who are against a plan to pump waste into Astrolabe Bay, known as a tourism attraction for divers.

Last week, the provincial government unanimously passed a resolution to cease all contact with MCC until a detailed environmental plan had been approved.

The Governor, Sir Arnold Amet, says a formal review of the project began last week, but landowners withdrew co-operation, prompting the mining minister to defer the review for a month.

Sir Arnold says the concerns should be addressed before construction continues.

"Essentially it is a dialogue between the national and provincial governments and the impacted landowners. And that's going to be our desire, that we discuss this in a very transparent and open way between all parties concerned."

Sir Arnold Amet