RAMU NiCo’s nickel and cobalt refinery at Basamuk, in Madang’s Astrolabe Bay, is 90% complete, says Ramu NiCo’s vice-president Yang Yong.
Yong told The National at his Basamuk office last Tuesday that all the work should be completed before the project is commissioned in October.
Speaking to the PNG media for the time, he said that the refinery, which included the deep sea tailings placement (DSTP) system, comprised 80% of the company’s US$1.37 billion investment in the project.
Yong said the refinery is made up of 1,400 separate machines - 724 of them in the main system and another 676 in the support system.
He said all systems had been tested and await the National Court decision on the future of the DSTP.
A group of landowners in the Basamuk area have taken Ramu NiCo to court, claiming that the DSTP was environmentally damaging.
Yong said the construction of the DSTP would take at least 50 days and was the last instalment in the construction phase of the project which had taken the Chinese developer two years to put in place.
The project comprises three components - the mine at Kurumbukari plateau in Usino-Bundi, the 135 slurry pipeline through inland and coastal regions of Rai Coast and the refinery plant, also in Rai Coast electorate.
Apart from the majority Chinese interest, other stakeholders in the project are Highlands Pacific Ltd, the government and landowners in the four impacted areas.