Slurry spill investigated


ENVIRONMENT, Conservation and Climate Change Minister Geoffrey Kama says analysis and results of the samples taken from the slurry spill at the Ramu Nico mine will be announced when an assessment is completed.
Kama said in a statement that the samples from the incident that occurred at Ramu Nico’s Basamuk processing plant in the early hours of Aug 24, which spilt into the sea of Basamuk Bay, were sent to Brisbane, Australia, for analysis.
He said results would be made known in a detailed report.
Kama said a technical failure of a slurry pump at the neutralisation surge tank to the processing plant had caused the spill to occur.
Kama said further information of the technical failure were matters under investigation by the Conservation, Environment and Protection Authority (Cepa) and the Mineral Resource Authority (MRA) to establish the cause of the incident.
“It is understood that a certain amount of slurry overflowed from the surge tank within the process plant and drained into the sea,” Kama said. “The sea waters along the bay were discoloured red.
“The sea discolouration was visible for at least two days.”
Immediately after the spill was detected, the company’s emergency and response team was activated and their health safety and emergency response unit was deployed.
The company reported taking immediate corrective measures to fix the failed pump and stopped the spill from discharging further slurry into the sea.
“I was impressed with the resilience of the Basamuk community. They are witnessing a major incident on their door step.
“The spill is unacceptable and should not happen again,” Kama said.
“Best preventative measures have been implemented and enforced immediately.
“Any discomfort caused to the community as a result of the spill incident is currently being addressed and any scientific facts and results will be announced as soon as a detailed report is completed.”

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