The National, Wednesday 22nd May 2013
TWENTY-five applied chemistry students with their lecturers from the PNG University of Technology in Lae, Morobe, were the first batch from any higher learning institutions to visit Ramu NiCo’s Basamuk refinery in Madang since production began last December.
Chief operating office Gao Yongxue welcomed the third year students with their lecturers last Thursday and introduced the senior staff.
Gao told the visitors that Ramu NiCo had entered the project commissioning a year ago and was confident to deliver the first nickel project in the country successfully given it was one of the most advanced laterite processing projects in the world using the third generation of high pressure acid leaching (HPAL) technology.
General manager of Basamuk refinery operation Philip Allcorn later introduced the processing plant. He explained how the plant operated, which made it exceptional, compared to other nickel projects in the world. He emphasised on other areas including challenges faced, safety management, workforce development, environment management and control and community liaison activities.
Training manager Jeffers Heptol then gave the visitors an induction on safety and the standards upheld by Ramu NiCo to promote “zero harm” measures at all times.
Students and staff were later taken on an escorted tour visiting important components, including HPAL, neutralisation and product area, choke station, warehouse, chemistry laboratory and control room. They were later given the opportunity to have a free question and answer session with the company’s technical officers.
The students are studying under the department of applied science for the four-year applied chemistry degree.
The trip to Basamuk is part of their annual visit programme to selected mining industries to see the operations in the mineral processing plants, both in assay laboratory and the environment laboratory to enhance their knowledge and understanding in the subject they are currently studying – mineral technology and geochemistry.