Papua New Guinea: Chinese-owned Ramu Nickel spills 200,000 litres of toxic slurry into the sea; co. commits to address compensation

A Chinese nickel mine operator accidentally spilled an estimated 200,000 litres of toxic slurry into a bay in Papua New Guinea's Madang province. The plant operator, Ramu Nickel, which is owned by the Metallurgical Corp of China (MCC), said that it is committed to pay compensation.

Meanwhile, a man has died after eating a fish caught near the site of the spill, however, the company has denied that the accident caused the death. The company said that it would not accept responsibility until scientific proof is provided.

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Article
8 February 2020

Papua New Guinea: Landowners & Madang Govt sue Chinese company Ramu Nico for damages

Author: Post-Courier

"Madang Govt Sues Ramu Nico For K18b", 6 February 2020

The Madang provincial government and 13 landowners have sued Chinese company Ramu Nico for damages worth K18 billion and K1.6 million as special damages....

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The court will...be asked to order...:

...[A]...permanent injunction restraining the Defendant...from committing the said nuisance and negligence and to injure the Plaintiffs...in their use and enjoyment of their customary land and water rights that a permanent injunction restraining the Defendant from destroying the offshore environment in any way and from dumping waste and tailings into Astrolabe and Basamuk Bays...;

...[T]hat the Plaintiffs’ rights to the use and enjoyment of their customary land and water rights...have been breached and that they have suffered as a direct consequence of the Defendant’s dumping of tailings and toxic waste activity by the use of DSTP, the Refinery dusts and fumes as well as the slurry spillage;

...[T]hat the Defendant compensate and or pay damages...in the sum of K18 billion and alternatively, such compensatory damages referred to paragraph 690) be assessed;

...[T]hat the Defendant and the Madang province government...take remedial steps to clean the environment that had been contaminated by the activity of the Defendant and that such remediation costs, to be properly assessed by remedial experts, shall be paid by the Defendant; and

...[T]hat the Defendant pay the Madang provincial government K1.6 million as special damages forthwith.

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Article
15 January 2020

Papua New Guinea: BMT Eastern Australia to investigate Basamuk Spill

Author: Post-Courier

"Aust Contractor To Back Govt-Sanctioned Probe Into Ramu Mine Spill", 9 December 2019

A Government-sanctioned investigation into the Basamuk slurry spill incident in Madang will be undertaken as a highly integrated multi-disciplinary study approach.

Environment Conservation and Climate Change Minister Wera Mori...said an initial investigation done by the Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (CEPA) indicated no pollution, but because of the widespread outcry and a contradicting report by an investigation done by a Dr Alex Mojon engaged by the Madang provincial government, the national government has now taken a further step to address the issue.

He said Cabinet has already approved for a comprehensive investigation, and BMT Eastern Australia Pty Ltd has been contracted to support the investigation....

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"We are getting them on board so that there is credibility in the investigation that will be conducted.

"It will be extensive, and with support from our CEPA technical officers, they have already conducted the first phase which is the reconnaissance trip or sampling plan trip.

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He said all parties including independent investigators, experts and a team from the Madang provincial government will also be part of the sampling.

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Article
27 November 2019

Madang provincial government seeks legal advice in lawsuit against Ramu mine operator

“Madang Govt Seeks Legal Advice”, 20 November 2019

The Madang provincial government has sought legal advice from six lawyers and an [Australian solicitors] …firm to help with a lawsuit against the Ramu nickel mine operator, Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC). Madang Governor Peter Yama…said the environment issue in and around Ramu…was “very sensitive” and required immediate action…

“When the…mining development contract was signed in 2000, the provision for the national government through CEPA…to establish an environment committee, gave…responsibility to CEPA to…monitor and receive environmental updates and reports from MCC every year…that has not been done. Look at Madang now; my people [have] been deprived of their source of food and income. [The] judge in the 2012 case said…the environmental consequences of [the Ramu toxic spill] may…[cause] irreparable damage…and seriously [harm] the lives and future of…thousands of…coastal people in Madang. I don’t think I am over-reacting…[and] that is why we are going to court”, [Yama].

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Article
13 November 2019

Ramu Nickel to face two possible lawsuits

Author: Papua New Guinea Today

"Chinese owned Mining Company in PNG faces Two Possible Lawsuits", 5 November 2019

[Chinese] operated Ramu Nickel Mine in Madang Province, Papua New Guinea will be facing two possible lawsuits. Madang Governor Peter Yama says one will be taken…by close to one thousand landowners from the impacted communities of Raicoast District - who had taken the Company to Court in 2011 over fears of pollution from the 'Deep Sea tailings Placement (DSTP)'…The Court at the time ruled in favour of [Ramu]…,saying there was “no evidence” and so the project was given the 'green light’…[Ramu] was also ordered by the Court to provide quarterly reports of their operations to the Provincial Government and landowners but have failed to do so…

[W]ith the evidence now, this case will be taken up again, adding the second case will be taken up by the Provincial Government for environmental damage. [T]he absence of legislation on the usage of 'Deep sea mine tailings (DSTP)' in [PNG] is raising serious concerns…Villagers in the…Raicoast district…say the National Government has been ignorant…of the effects of the DSTP…

[Ramu] which uses the DSTP to dispose of its mine wastes into the sea has reportedly been releasing 1700 litres of toxic waste into the ocean per hour, amounting to 14.2 million litres annually for fifteen years. [A] recent…toxic spill from the mine is alleged to have poisoned fish, prompting a ban in the Province. Department of Justice and Attorney General Dr. Eric Kwa…says the PNG National Oceans Policy [is] to be presented to the National Executive Council by the end of this year and [is] expected to come into effect by 2020…, [addressing] some…current issues including Ocean pollution…

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Article
12 November 2019

International scientists have data to prove Ramu Nickel spill is a risk to environmental and human health

Author: Gorethy Kenneth, Papua New Guinea Post-Courier

“Basamuk Spill Poisonous, Scientists Claim”, 4 November 2019

International scientists engaged by the Madang provincial government claimed last Friday that they have data to prove that the Basamuk spill was poisonous to the people of Madang…, [claiming]…the chemical spill by…Ramu [Nickel]…[will] take four to five years for the sea to get to what is was. [S]cientific laboratory results of a sample test of a dead dolphin…confirmed the heavy presence of chemicals [and] that…fish species, algae and plan[t] deaths were due to the heavy metal laden slurry spill.

A team…from the Swiss Association for Quality and Environment Management..., led by Dr Alex Mojon, are now in Madang to further test new areas in the Basamuk Bay. [A] Madang Provincial team and the scientists met with the Minister for Mining…and Minister for Environment…to further cement their resolve to come up with solutions that can be addressed across all levels of government. Dr Mojon said the results and interpretations were scientific data which were not focusing on any non-intended [or] intended legal [accusations]…but were a data bank which [will] be the base for further…cooperation.

[Ramu Nickel] executives told the Post-Courier they will seek legal advice…before making any comments but assured they are ready for roundtable meetings will all stakeholders.

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Article
11 November 2019

Ramu executives refuse investigating PNG & international scientists entry onto site

“PNG and International Scientists Denied Access”, 11 November 2019

Papua New Guinea scientists and medical practitioners engaged by national government and working with [international] scientists on the Ramu mine spill were denied access to the [Mine]…last Friday and Saturday to carry out further sampling and investigation. “[W]e were told…we could land on the site…[but] instead…we were told to immediately leave the premises”.

A special meeting was also held on Thursday night…[to] discuss plans and [a] way forward to work together to carry out the investigation,…one recommendation was to…carry out samplings on various locations at the Basamuk and Astrolabe Bay.

Ramu mine executives [said]…they refused [entry] because they were still waiting for the official investigation that Prime Minister James Marape had announced in Parliament. “[T]he company will only accept the findings…sanctioned by the PNG National Government, not others. [Ramu] refutes the damning report which is irresponsible, defamatory and malicious…we must also have a round table meeting to discuss…many [other] things before the investigation begins because this is a highly technical area”.

[N]ational government agencies engaged to work together with Swiss and German Scientists from CEPA, NAQIA, NFA and provincial health authorities said the provincial government was also an authority and that Ramu did not need to wait for [Parliament’s] investigations.

 

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Author: Radio New Zealand

2019年10月18日

巴布亚新几内亚政府机构说,马当海岸外数千公升矿浆的泄漏是由Ramu镍矿场发生溢流造成的。

保育和环境保护局一直在调查溢流,这导致禁止从Basamuk Bay捕捞和食用鱼类。

...据《邮政速递》报道,环境部长杰弗里·卡玛(Geoffrey Kama)表示,其中60%的泥浆都含有。

取样结果表明,对海水成分没有重大影响。

部长告诉国会,该地区用来游泳和作娱乐用途都安全。

但是,他说,直到当局确定鱼是否被重金属残留物污染之前,捕鱼和食用鱼的禁令一直保持下去。

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Author: Radio New Zealand

2019年10月18日

巴布亚新几内亚政府机构说,马当海岸外数千公升矿浆的泄漏是由Ramu镍矿场发生溢流造成的。

保育和环境保护局一直在调查溢流,这导致禁止从Basamuk Bay捕捞和食用鱼类。

...据《邮政速递》报道,环境部长杰弗里·卡玛(Geoffrey Kama)表示,其中60%的泥浆都含有。

取样结果表明,对海水成分没有重大影响。

部长告诉国会,该地区用来游泳和作娱乐用途都安全。

但是,他说,直到当局确定鱼是否被重金属残留物污染之前,捕鱼和食用鱼的禁令一直保持下去。

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Author: ABC News

2019年10月2日

在巴布亚新几内亚,一名男子吃了一条在大量镍精炼厂溢油现场附近捕捞的鱼后死了,但是该矿山的中国经营者否认该事故导致了他的死亡。

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溢油事故使海湾变成了鲜红色,官员们说,最近几周沿马当海岸线冲走了死鱼和至少一只海豚。

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但是,地方当局已经采取行动,禁止人们食用或出售在该男子死亡和鱼类死亡后在该省捕获的鱼,并已要求进行尸检。

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然而,《全国邮递员报》(Post-Courier)上援引一名医务人员的话说,他对这名男子进行了治疗,并声称他吃了有毒的河豚鱼。

文章中没有提到医务人员的名字,但他说,试图挽救该名男子失败了。

该公司本身也否认漏油事件是造成该人死亡或鱼死亡的原因,并表示,除非省政府提供科学证据,否则它将不承担任何责任。

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巴布亚新几内亚矿产资源管理局的常务董事在八月份告诉美国广播公司(ABC),浆液中含有重金属,这些重金属“有毒”和“酸性”。

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Author: Radio New Zealand

2019年10月14日

巴布亚新几内亚的马当省政府可能会对Ramu镍矿的持有人提起诉讼。

该矿由中国冶金(MCC)所有,该公司被发现其倾倒入海的有毒废物管理不善。

马当政府任命了一名来自瑞典的漏油应对顾问Dr Alex Mojon,以调查当地水域和鱼类的污染情况。

巴布亚新几内亚环境保护和环境保护局对此事的报告仍在等待中。但是,与马当政府合作的律师Ben Lomai告诉Johnny Blades,Mojon博士的调查发现了矿山废物对海洋环境的灾难性影响。

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