By JEFFREY ELAPA
THE source that supplies water to the huge Ramu nickel and cobalt mine at Kurumbukari in the Madang province was shut down by disgruntled landowners over the New Year period.
Provincial government’s mining coordinator, John Bivi, told The National that the Binatrari landowners of the water easement areas of the Kurumbukari nickel and cobalt mine had forcefully shut the taps to the mine over several outstanding issues.
They are demanding a share of royalties and wanted a separate MoA to be signed between the developer, the State and the water easement areas.
They said at present, they were totally out of the special mine lease area.
It is believed that the Mineral Resource Authority and the Environment and Conservation Department met with the landowners to discuss and address the issues, but failed to honour the outstanding issues forcing the landowners to stop water supply to the mine.
Mr Bivi said the landowners, without understanding that the water is owned by the State, had gone ahead to shut down water supply disrupting progress at the mine.
A letter written by the provincial administrator had asked the landowners to immediately allow the usage of the water to the mine and not to jeopardise the progress and development of the construction phase of the mine before the commissioning early this year.