Developer: Ramu NiCo will resume next month

Business, Main Stories

The National, Friday, May 20, 2011

HIGHLANDS Pacific Ltd, the  major developer of the Ramu nickel/cobalt mine in Madang, is confident that production will commence in the June quarter with a staged ramp up through the year.
Speaking at the annual general meeting in Port Moresby yesterday, managing director John Gooding told shareholders that with this “modern construction completed, it is ready to commission the US$1.5billion project”.
He said the company was hopeful that this would happen soon which would provide comfort to other companies who had invested heavily in PNG based on approvals and permits received and will generate wealth for shareholders, landowners and the country.
Gooding explained that the legal delays over the mine had delayed the commissioning and production, in which judgment should be revealed next month.
He said the ongoing legal issues had been an unfortunate situation for the company for over a year, which has also contributed to damaging PNG’s reputation as being a good place to find and operate a mine.
“Let’s hope that for the sake of the country and all the stakeholders that this important project is allowed to progress to production as soon as possible.
“I believe then that we will see some real improvements in our share price, because although the Ramu interest is not the major part of the value equation for Highlands, it is an important component that is very much in the public’s view,” he said.