THE National Court has allowed Ramu NiCo Management (MCC) Ltd to commence fabrication and floating of pipes work for the Ramu nickel mine project in Madang province.
The proposed deep sea tailings placement project involves laying a 1km off-shore pipeline along the sea bed to pump mine wastes into the ocean.
Aggrieved parties Eddie Tarsie and others from the ward 3 Saidor local level government went to court and successfully took out an interim injunction on March 19.
They had argued that the planned deep sea tailings placement system would affect the offshore environment and, inevitably, be an environmental hazard.
However, on April 1, Ramu NiCo returned to court to seek clarification on the effect of the March 19 decision.
It argued that it had to start preparatory work immediately in order to mitigate the losses incurred daily because of the court order.
Ramu NiCo also said work would not involve any damage or disturbance to the offshore environment, therefore, not breaching the March 19 court order.
After going through the submission, Justice David Cannings said he was satisfied that the activity proposed by Ramu NiCo would not amount to a breach of the court order and, therefore, it was appropriate to make a declaration to that effect.
“For the avoidance of doubt, if Ramu NiCo, in the course of undertaking the propose activity, does any work that directly or indirectly damages or disturbs the offshore environment, then it may expose itself to contempt of court,” Justice Cannings said.