22 Mar 2010

Call for impact study after PNG mine development stopped by court injunction

3:08 pm on 22 March 2010

A resource protection group in Papua New Guinea has welcomed a court injunction on a Chinese nickel miner's construction of a pipeline to dump waste into the sea at Basamuk Bay.

In response to a legal challenge by some local landowners, the national court in Madang province ordered work to stop on the Chinese Metallurgical Construction Company's previously approved submarine tailings disposal system from the Ramu nickel mine.

The company planned to dump five million tonnes of waste annually into Basamuk Bay and was preparing to start blasting coral reefs for the pipeline to be laid.

Wences Magun from the Mas Kagin Tapani, or Guardians of the Sea, organisation, says the injunction is the right decision, given that the government had approved a tailings system without properly assessing the consequences.

"But the call is to have a secondary company to go and do an environmental impact study and tell us. The Lutheran church has already conducted one and the indications are that the sea tailings disposal is detrimental to our environment."

Wences Magun.