A state team led by the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) and the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) last week commenced a series of awareness programmes on environmental and other issues in relation to the Ramu mining project.
The awareness programme which was conducted at Mindre village and the Madang provincial government headquarters was in compliance with the general order from the Madang National Court to inform and consult with the plaintiffs of the court case relating to use of (deep sea tailings placement (DSTP) system by the Ramu mine.
|Basamuk landowners listening to the team|
Upon handing down its decision mid last year, the court ordered the state to consult with landowners of Basamuk and other areas on environmental issues including DSTP every three months until the closure of the mine.
Provincial director for mines John Bivi said that this exercise by the state team was an important part of the progress of the Ramu mining project.
He said it was important that the national government carried out such awareness programmes so that people were not left in the dark, especially with regards to environmental matters.
Goro Arigae of the DEC updated the landowners and Madang provincial government officials on where the project was in terms of environmental matters.
He explained to the two parties the environmental permitting processes and also what the various types of permits were, and how they were processed and granted.
He told them that the Ramu mine had been granted an environmental permit and having gone through the court case on DSTP, it was given to approval to use DSTP.
The mine was now awaiting commissioning.
Chairman of Basamuk Landowners Association Lima Mulung, and chairman of Inland Coastal Pipeline Charles Okori, thanked the state team for their efforts in attending to queries from landowners.
Mulung said his people were happy with information on the status of the project and explanation on the government process for granting environmental permits.
He wanted the state team to include others such as inland coastal pipeline people in the awareness programme.