By DOROTHY MARK
RAMU NiCo Management (MCC) and landowners of the mine’s project impact areas signed the revised compensation agreement yesterday.
MCC community affairs manager Martin Paining said the original agreement signed in 2000 was done to rush the project through.
He said benefits of the landowners were not captured well.
The agreement was done between Highlands Pacific and landowners before MCC took over from Highlands Pacific as developer of the Kurumbukari mine.
Paining said it took more time and effort to revisit the agreement and make changes according to landowners’ views, until the
final revised agreement was put together.
Kurumbukari landowners’ association chairman Tobby Bare thanked MCC for finally making available the revised agreement.
“It was long overdue,” he said.
“We landowners are now happy that it was now revised and signed.”
Ramu NiCo Management vice-president Wang Baowen congratulated the four landowner association chairmen and their executives for successfully negotiating a good compensation package for their people.
Wang said the compensation package agreement was a huge improvement from previous rates.
“The company used to spend K600,000 annually in annual compensation payment in the old agreement,” he said.
“However, in this revised agreement, the annual land-use compensation payment will be more than K1.3 million.”
Wang said the agreement included consumer price index (CPI) adjustments and the latest valuer-general rates.
“This is very good for the project landowners,” he said.
Wang said that demonstrated that MCC was genuine in ensuring landowners benefited properly from the project operation.
He signed the agreement on behalf of the company.
The four landowner association chairmen who signed were Basamuk Landowner Association chairman Sama Mellombo, Inland Pipeline Landowners’ chairman Peter Tai, Coastal Pipeline Landowners’ chairman Jeffrey Gamrai and Kurumbukari Landowners’ chairman Toby Bare.
By DOROTHY MARK