PNG's Ramu Nickel Mine not to be blamed for Dead Fish

The developer of the Papua New Guinea Ramu Nickel Mine (MCC) in Madang Province says it should not be blamed for the dead fish discovered in Madang waters, in the past two weeks.

Reports have emerged of sightings of dead fish in Raikos, Madang, Sumkar and even Bogia districts in the past weeks, however, MCC does not believe the recent overflow in one of its slurry tanks at Basamuk on the 24th of August, is responsible for these.

The Company’s Community Affairs General Manager Martin Paining said this during a meeting today between the Madang Provincial Administration, the developer and other government agencies including members of the general public.

Mr. Paining says the only authority that can confirm whether there is any contamination of the marine environment is the Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (CEPA) however; to date there has been no feedback from the authority on the slurry overflow and therefore the company cannot be blamed.

He told the Madang Provincial Administration to immediately follow up with CEPA for the report on its findings and not be quick to impose the ban on fish.

Mr Paining also disclosed that the report by CEPA is ready, however; the Minister for Mining is currently attending a meeting on Climate Change in New Yok and will be back by Friday this week to release the findings.

Meantime, the Madang Provincial Administration in its response to MCC explains that the ban is only for a short while, until the CEPA report is ready and released.

Mysterious Fish Deaths
in PNG's Madang Province

Acting Provincial Administrator for Madang, Joseph Kunda Bonomane and his team says, it is the responsibility of the government to protect the people and that is exactly what it is doing.

The meeting called by the Madang Provincial Administration was purposely to gauge views and ideas from stakeholders and the general public on how to deal with the issue at hand whilst waiting for the report.

NBC News/Pacific Mining watch

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