Ramu NiCo to go ahead with pipeline

National, Normal

WITH the court victory last week under its belt, Ramu NiCo is going ahead with the construction of the pipeline through which it hopes tailings or waste from the Ramu nickel mine will flow into the sea.
Ramu NiCo, or MCC, is developing the mine.
Its plan to have the mine up and running by the end of the year has been stalled because of the legal action by villagers over environmental concerns.
After months of court ordered stop work on the pipeline construction, the National Court last week allowed the company to go ahead with it.
The company, however, is not allowed to dump any mine waste into the sea until the substantive case is determined.
The plaintiff villagers are seeking in the substantive case to permanently prevent the dumping of waste from the mine into the sea.
They said that the waste dumping was not provided for in law, and would cause huge environmental damage.
But by going ahead with the pipeline construction while the case is pending, Ramu NiCo is taking a gamble.
They are going to spend a lot of money building a 400m pipeline they may end of not using, if the villagers win the case.
The villagers and their lawyers feel they have a strong case for success.
“The fact of the matter is there is little environmental damage caused by building the 400m long pipeline,” lawyer Tiffany Nonggorr said this week in an email note to journalists.
“We say that the dumping of five million tonnes annually of mine waste at a depth of 150m, only 400m from shore, will cause massive and irreparable environmental harm.
“We have not alleged anywhere that the building of the pipeline itself will cause harm. It is also specifically approved in the permit. 
“We don’t have a legal basis for stopping them building it but we had asked the court to stop the construction so MCC would suffer less loss if we won, but MCC seem to want to take the risk of a loss if they are permanently banned from dumping into the sea,” she added.