From PAUL OATES
It's official - the Deputy Prime Minister confirmed has that the Papua New Guinea government had no idea what the effects of the waste disposal arrangements from the Ramu nickel mine would be when it approved the process.
The Department of Environment and Conservation Minister reportedly stood by while Sir Puka Temu admitted to Rai Coast residents that the government was now carrying out what was reported as 'awareness on the process of deep sea tailings'. Both Ministers received a petition that called for an immediate stopwork on the waste disposal site and to fund an independent scientific study into the project. The government was given 21 days to respond before local people intended to take further action.
Had the local residents not obtained a court injunction on the mine construction work, it is now apparent that the PNG government and the Ramu NiCo would have gone ahead with the planned tailings disposal process. A process that many have very serious concerns about.
This admission by the government now begs the question: What else about this
particular mining project has not been fully investigated, prior to government approval? A similar mine in New Caledonia had significant problems reported about its waste disposal arrangements. There doesn't seem to be any other reason why the PNG couldn't have learnt from their fellow Melanesian neighbour's previous experience except one: Incompetence.
A qualified mining engineer has previously claimed that the PNG government has agreed to a vastly undervalued deal with the developers of Ramu NiCo. If this is true, then the PNG people have been sold out by their own government. Perhaps the local landowners should be insisting the PNG government now examine all aspects concerning Ramu NiCo mine in a
fully transparent manner before any further action is allowed?
In today's The National
Temu admits to poor awareness at Ramu
By JAYNE SAFIHAO
THE national government has admitted to lack of awareness and consultation on the deep sea tailing processes at the Ramu nickel-cobalt mine in Madang province.
Deputy Prime Minister Sir Puka Temu said the government had failed to carry out awareness within the local impacted areas in Madang on the process of deep sea tailings.
He told villagers at Bongu, Rai Coast district, that awareness on the tailings processes should have been carried out earlier for the locals to better understand what was involved.
He was speaking when receiving a petition from the people on the activities of Ramu NiCo and what they wanted done. With him was Environment and Conservation Minister Benny Allan.
Sir Puka said responsible government authorities were now carrying out awareness on the process of deep sea tailings, and villagers along the impacted areas must allow officers to give help them better understand the processes involved.
Among other issues raised, the petition also called for an immediate stopwork on the waste disposal site; for the government to fund an independent scientific research to prove or disprove studies carried out by National Research Systems (NRS) prior to the one by the Mineral Policy Institute of Sydney, Australia; for the landowners to have their say included in the new research; and for the developer to find "other alternate means" of disposing wastes.
The Bongu people gave the government 21 days to respond.
The petition stated that if nothing positive was gained, they would be forced to take "appropriate measures".
Meanwhile, the locals said the government's quick action to shove scientific information on the process of the tailings plan within a very short period was inadequate and incorrect.
They stressed that the government had slept on the issue up until now, and was resorting to a quick resolution .