16 Feb 2010

Questions raised on worth of Ramu nickel and cobalt mine

11:47 am on 16 February 2010

Questions have been raised on the worth of the Ramu nickel and cobalt mine by joint venture partners Highlands Pacific managing director John Gooding.

The Post Courier reports the boss of the mining company expressed concern in the estimated worth of the Ramu nickel and cobalt mine quoted by a PNG geologist from an article that appeared in the newspaper last month.

The article said that the Ramu Ni-Co mine may be worth around 30 billion Us dollars.

Mr Gooding says it contained a number of errors that completely misrepresented the net worth of the project.

He said the cost of construction in the mining industry was expensive and meant companies had to manage projects well to make profits.

Mr Gooding said although major stakeholder MCC had managed to contain the construction costs of the Ramu Ni-Co mine within budget the operating costs would limit the net returns from the project.

He said the Ramu Ni-Co project was prone to low metal prices that could see it fluctuate and affect its ability to repay outstanding loans during these periods.