Madang to block miner’s access to Lae

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday 09th April, 2013


THE Madang provincial executive council is against the Chinese nickel and cobalt developer in Madang Ramu nickel export chromite using Lae port facilities in Morobe.

Deputy Governor Bob Wati said the provincial government discouraged the export of chromites through Lae port because it was generating revenue for Morobe province rather than Madang, the home of the project.

Wati said Ramu Agro was based in Madang but using Lae and giving revenue to Morobe.

A landowner at the Kurumbukari mine site, Thomas Monda, said Ramu Nickel was extracting chromite apart from nickel and cobalt as agreed to.

“Ramu NiCo signed the agreement to mine nickel and cobalt only and not chromite. And it must follow what the Madang provincial government decide on how to handle this product,” Monda said.

He said the poor condition of the Madang-Usino highway forced Ramu Nickel to use Lae port services. 

Wati urged the national government to consider maintaining the highway thus allowing Ramu NiCo and Marengo to access port facilities in Madang to export the minerals.

“The two big mines are in Madang and all their revenue must be spent in this province. Madang people have full rights to enjoy the benefits that come out of these projects,” Wati said.

He said the Madang-Usino highway needed regular maintenance. He suggested that the Usino-Yal road was the alternative to the road problem.

Wati said the access road was flat all the way through Transgogol and to Madang.

He said it would be better for the national government to concentrate on developing that road instead of wasting millions every year to maintain the highway.