Ramu NiCo development faces setback

National, Normal

The National – Friday, December 24, 2010

THE Ramu NiCo project may be further slowed down due to a new twist of events in the past few days.
Jailed chairman of the Kurumbukari Landowners Association, David Tigavu and his successor, Eddie Itarai, who was voted in yesterday, have decided in a press release issued that two major issues surrounding KBK landowners would be temporary halted.
One of them is the relocation exercise for landowners of the Kurumbukari mine site to their newly constructed homes.
The 30 houses, since their completion nearly one and a half years ago, have not yet been occupied.
A relocation exercise scheduled before Christmas had to be postponed till sometime next year.
This would mean settlers currently in the Special Mining Lease (SML) 8, Palai area, would  remain there while any further works by the company would be halted.
Itarai also stressed that the memorandum of agreement review, which is outstanding, would be halted until Tigavu had completed his term.
Tigavu was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment last Friday on three counts of contempt charges laid against him in October.
The incident which sparked the contempt proceedings happened on Sept 23 where lawyers and plaintiffs fighting over the deep sea tailings placement (DSTP) dumping at Basamuk in Rai Coast.
Tigavu threatened and incited physical violence against and between parties to ongoing court proceedings, threatened and abused lawyers who were involved in those court proceedings and threatened and abused persons who were witness in those court proceedings.