Madang clans vow to leave project alone


THE landowners of the Ramu Nickel-Cobalt project have made a commitment not to disturb the project in Madang, according to operator Ramu Nico (MCC).
In a meeting with Mineral Resources Authority managing director Philip Samar on Tuesday, the four landowners associations representing the project impacted communities of Kurumbukari, Basamuk, coastal pipeline and Maigari resolved not to disturb the project.
MCC in a statement said the threat to disturb the project was expressed in a letter from the landowners dated November 8 and copied to MCC and MRA.
The chairmen of the four associations had given a seven-day notice from Nov 9 to have their claims attended to or the mine would be shut down.
The issues raised included landowner royalty, a business development grant of K10 million promised by the Government five years ago and spin-off business opportunities to the landowners.
MCC said in recent meeting, all parties resolved that royalty would be paid to landowners but required formalities that had to be sorted out by the company and MRA.
Meanwhile, MCC said since the inception of the Ramu NiCo project in 2006, landowners were given numerous business opportunities but have not prospered due to lack of competent management acumen.
“Unfortunately, after nine years of operation, the stakeholders have not seen the benefits of their investment and this is a very serious concern for us.”

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