Work resumes at Ramu NiCo project site

National, Normal

The National- Thursday, January 20, 2011


Landowners of the Kurumbukari nickel cobalt project will meet with the Minerals and Resources Authority (MRA) in Madang today to discuss outstanding issues.

MRA acting general manager, Philip Samar gave an undertaking last week via a conference at Kurumbukari by Ramu NiCo management and landowners over the issues.

Last week, disgruntled landowners, trying to halt testing work to the Butua plant laid down their demands.

Commissioning work for the plants started last Tuesday during which three days were given to Ramu NiCo by landowners to conduct their testing of plants.

Part of their demands in a Nov 15 letter to the company were that land lease payments of more than five years be paid and include sub-clans who had contributed land, compensation 

payments for pits that were dug for sampling and business development opportunities be given. 

They also wanted Ramu NiCo to fasttrack its training and localisation programme and review the long overdue memorandum of agreement (MoA).

Landowners from the four major tribes, Maure, Nokomboi, Imburumba and Pagazi, were 

confused last week when machines excavated top soil at the special mine lease area. 

They converged on the site and stopped them.

The landowners told Ramu NiCo and its stakeholders that all statutory payments would have 

to be made within 10 days.