Villagers protest mine company court battle to dump waste in bay

National, Normal

THE Chinese Metallurgical Construction Co (MCC) has failed in its bid to move the hearing of a case filed by Madang landowners.
Judge David Cannings ruled last Friday that it was not appropriate for the case to be moved to another province for hearing.
Instead, the judge ordered the Chinese mining company to return to court in Madang on April 12.
MCC, developer of the Ramu nickel mine in Madang province, went to court last Friday to request the injunction, against its plans to dump 100 million tonnes of mine waste in the Basamuk Bay, be lifted.
Local landowners protesting against the plan were not intimidated by a heavy police presence.
After failing to get the court to move the case out of Madang, MCC lawyer Ian Molloy told the court his client was not yet ready to proceed with its application, prompting the adjournment to April 12.
Landowners  and local people protested peacefully outside the court house by holding placards showing their dismay.
Plaintiff’s Eddie Tarsie, Sama Melambo and two local council members expressed their satisfaction with the court’s decision.
The plaintiffs are fearful of the environmental damage the proposed dumping would cause.
An injunction was obtained last week preventing the company from laying the pipeline into the bay.