The National, Thursday 02nd Febuary 2012
RAMU NiCo Management (MCC) Ltd yesterday pointed out that any existing structure and legally-binding business relationship which were created under a memorandum of agreement (MoA) should be honoured and proper processes will be followed in pursing such initiative.
The nickel/cobalt project developer in Madang province pointed this out in response to a media report last week that certain landowner clans at Basamuk in Rai Coast wished to have a separate contract arrangement to undertake the security business at the Ramu project.
Ramu NiCo’s position was supported by Raibus Ltd, the landowner umbrella company across the project area, and its subsidiary Raibus Security Services Ltd (RSSL), a specialised security company which was currently providing security services to the Ramu project.
Ramu NiCo had refuted claims that it held 51% share in RSSL and in its operation, and said the landowner security business was 100% owned by landowners and was running independently.
Ramu NiCo’s community affairs general manager Martin Paining, in a letter to the chairman of the Ganglau Landowner Co, said Ramu NiCo was concerned that proper consultation had not taken place with MCC as the operator of the project and whether it would use the security service or not.
In particular, Paining said Ganglau group had a right to participate in any business that may be available provided however that it was competitive and met MCC’s requirements.
Likewise, it must deal with their umbrella company, Basamuk Enterprises Ltd, following the structure and process set up under the project MoA.
Paining said there was already a 100% landowner company – the Raibus Security – that was providing services to the mine and support facilities, including the Basamuk process plant site.
This contract with RSS to provide service was legally binding, he said.
“This perception on the ownership is incorrect as Raibus Security is owned by all the landowners,” Paining said.
Initially, MCC provided the funds to set up this contract and held 51% share merely as a stabilising force, Paining said.
However, with the business growing well, that had changed and Raibus had acquired all the shares resulting in the company being wholly owned by the project landowners.
Paining said MCC never benefited from its initial involvement.
Its involvement was to ensure that the funds loaned to the company was used in its organisation.
MCC had no intention to change or engaged another security company as the services provided by Raibus was meeting its needs.