Ramu Nickel clarifies mine expansion deal

People’s concerns about benefit-sharing and spin-offs will be carefully considered before PNG Ramu Nickel’s expansion programme begins, says an official.
Ramu Nickel community affairs manager Albert Tobe said this after Kurumbukari (KBK) landowners of Ramu Nickel mine in Madang told the company to list the possible business spin-off potential or they will shut the operation.
The villagers gathered at Kinimati village, West Kurumbukari, and aired their views to the management. The landowners demanded to be told why they were not informed about the signing of the expansion programme of the mine and other benefits.
Tobe said that the agreement was signed in Port Moresby during the Apec summit to speed up the process, however, there were more requirements to be met and consider before the actual expansion programme began.
The chairman of KBK Landowners’ Association, Tobby Bare, said that in the past, youths would take the lead to address benefit-sharing issues, but that often resulted in fights which required police intervention.
Now, he was dealing with the matter himself to avoid violence.
“I will shut the water supply to the mine myself if the company does not come good with our request,” Bare said.
He said he had petitioned the company two weeks ago on behalf of the landowners in Kurumbukari, Basamuk and Inland and Coastal Pipeline.
Bare demanded to be told why the landowners were not informed about the signing of the expansion programme of the mine, including other benefits.
The chairman of the Raibus Group, Steven Saudm said landowners of the Kurumbukari mine wanted to experience benefit-sharing like the landowners of Porgera, OK Tedi and other mines.
He said that it has been 13 years since the mine began operation and the landowners still do not have good schools, aid posts and electricity.

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