MCC: Social issues plague mining village

Business, Normal

THE developers of the nickel and cobalt project in Ramu, Madang province, have expressed concern about outstanding issues within the project area.
The Ramu NiCo Co (MCC) said the project had brought a lot of tangible developments to the landowners and impacted areas since its inception.
However, the inflow of outsiders to  Basamuk region along with the long-pending land title disputes at the mine site had also led to social problems.
In a statement yesterday, the developers said up to the end of last year, spin-off businesses worth K80 million had been contracted to landowner companies and over K5.1 million as environment and land compensation had been paid.
Six community assistance projects under project memorandum of agreement (MoA) agreement had been completed.
Goods worth more than K120,000 were donated to various social events.
“While tangible benefits are being generated along with the development, we are equally concerned about outstanding issues within the project area.
“We would again appeal Government agencies to give top priority to these matters and minimise the impact to local people and to project development,” the developers said.