Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ramu safe: Pundari

Deep sea tailings plan least risky

ERIC TAPAKAU, Post Courier
THE development of a deep sea tailings placement system at Basamuk Bay is the least environmentally risky option for the disposal of mine tailings from the Ramu nickel mine, Mining Minister John Pundari said.
Mr Pundari said this after outlining numerous studies conducted by internationally reputable organisations into the proposed DSTP for the Ramu mine.
“The Government is confident that given this body of evidence, combined with the continuing efforts towards ensuring that the disposal of mine tailings from the Ramu nickel mine is done in an environmentally safe and socially responsible manner, DSTP system is the right approach and therefore refute the statements made in the media,” he said.
“The Government further believes that the environ-mentally responsible development of the Ramu Nickel Mine utilising DSTP technology offers the people of Rai Coast and the people of Madang Province an important opportunity to develop their communities and enjoy the economic benefits that large scale mining projects have brought to other parts of the country.”
He said it was unfortunate that such a volume of study and information was available even before 2003 when MCC first carried out its due diligence study before taking a decision to invest in PNG and it appeared that these studies (dating back to 1988 and beyond) were not an issue for contention until MCC’s involvement in the project.
“We must appreciate the financial risk undertaken by the Chinese enterprises to invest in PNG in a project that is technically difficult to develop when no other investor was willing to undertake the challenge,” he said.
“The Government wishes to stress to all stakeholders in the mining industry of Papua New Guinea that the National Government exercises a non-prejudicial policy towards all investors and will be fair to any investor as long as it is in accordance with the laws of Papua New Guinea.”
He said the Government of PNG also commended the outcome of the meeting between all the stake-holders that were present and duly represented at the consultation forum last week in Madang.
“The progressive efforts and understanding esta-blished so far is highly commendable and reflective of the genuine desire of all stakeholders to find an amicable and favourable solution to this unfortunate impasse over the last few weeks,” Mr Pundari said.

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