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Chinese miner in PNG issues warning

Staff Reporter | 3:17 AM | |||
METALLURGICAL Corporation of China (MCC) vice president Mr Wang Yongguang has warned that the company will not hesitate to close down the mine if the safety and lives of its workers are threatened.

He also expressed grave concern about the recent burning down of USD5 million worth of equipment recently by Ramu landowners over unfulfilled commitments covered under the Ramu mine agreement.

"If the investment condition in the country gets worse, the safety of our people is priority as far as MCC management is concerned. We need a stable and safe working environment for our workers," he stated.

Mr Yongguang said the MCC had fulfilled most of its commitments and the issues raised by the landowners are those that were not fulfilled by the Madang Provincial Government as well as the national Government.

He said those issues must be raised with the respective national and local authorities instead of venting their frustrations against the developer.

The MCC management’s principle is to recruit local people, but firstly these people must meet the MCC requirements, the VP said.

Mr Yongguang stated that the management was concerned about the safety issues at the mine site and have now appointed a very senior manager to take up posting in Papua New Guinea to address some of the issues that are affecting the mine operations.

He said the mine has been a big investment for MCC and the company would like to ensure it makes some profit from this investment.

He said MCC would also like to secure a qualified workforce and the company also has plans to localise positions to qualified Papua New Guineans, especially those from the mining area.

He said although the two countries have different cultures, nothing is stopping the two parties from communicating and resolving the issues for a successful project.

Mr Yongguang also called on the PNG Government to bring those responsible for the burning of the company properties to face the law.

He made these remarks to the PNG delegation headed by Usino-Bundi MP Anton Yagama, Wosera-Gawi MP Joseph Yopiyopi and Wabag MP Robert Ganim in Beijing on Tuesday evening.

Mr Yagama, who is the local MP representing the mine area people, assured the MCC management that this type of incident will not happen again in the future.