作者: Ian Morse, Mongabay
22 May 2020
A coalition of more than 5,000 villagers and a provincial government in Papua New Guinea has built a legal challenge against the world’s most productive battery nickel plant.
The company, Ramu NiCo, has been dumping millions of tons of mine waste into the ocean since 2012, and evidence for environmental and health impacts is accumulating.
In April 2019, a small coastal tailings spill prompted Governor Yama to examine Ramu NiCo’s nearly eight-year environmental record. He hired a consultant that engaged SVQ to undertake an environmental impact assessment, which Mojon’s 13-person team began in May 2019.
[...] [A]fter one round of spot testing coastal soils, Mojon recommended that Ramu NiCo implement a plan to recycle and neutralize tailings or find an alternative waste management method. By November, three more field studies and three more slurry spills later, he began calling Ramu NiCo’s DSTD a “catastrophe.”
The SVQ data have fueled a battle over research between the provincial government and locals on one side, and the central government and Ramu NiCo on the other. Ramu NiCo, MCC and Toronto-based Conic Metals (which acquired Highlands Pacific) have not responded to questions. Conic said in a statement that it was not a defendant in the case and that operations are continuing normally.
Although SVQ's study is incomplete, Mojon said he believes the evidence he's gathered so far is clear: the sea, coasts, some food crops, and one natural spring used for drinking water show "alarmingly high levels of contamination." The study is potentially one of the largest to date on the impacts of DSTD anywhere in the world.
作者: Brendan McLaughlin, Earthworks
12 May 2020
Storebrand joins several other financial institutions taking measures to prevent disposing of tailings in the ocean. Citigroup and Standard Chartered both issued new policies that restrict financing submarine mine waste disposal in response to the Ditch Ocean Dumping campaign. The Ditch Ocean Dumping campaign, which has support from 40 groups in 17 countries, is calling on financial institutions to divest from any project or company that employs aqueous tailings disposal.
"Dumping of mining tailings directly into marine environments is a controversial practice internationally. Marine ecosystems are crucial to a healthy planet and must be protected," said Bård Bringedal, Chief Investment Officer of Equities at Storebrand Asset Management.
"Storebrand's decision is good news for communities in Papua New Guinea," said Silje Ask Lundberg, president of Friends of the Earth Norway. "By divesting from MCC, Storebrand makes a clear stand that they do not tolerate mining practices that are harmful to the environment and Indigenous peoples. We encourage investors in the Nussir and Nordic Mining mines in Norway to follow their lead."
"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....
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.
…【一项】…永久禁令限制被告…实施上述的妨害和过失，以及伤害原告…使用和享有传统土地和水资源的权利，永久禁令限制被告以任何形式破坏近海环境和向亚斯托雷比湾（Astrolabe Bay）和巴萨木克湾（Basamuk Bay）倾倒废料和尾矿…；
…【一項】…永久禁令限制被告…實施上述的妨害和過失，以及傷害原告…使用和享有傳統土地和水資源的權利，永久禁令限制被告以任何形式破壞近海環境和向亞斯托雷比灣（Astrolabe Bay）和巴薩木剋灣（Basamuk Bay）傾倒廢料和尾礦…；
"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....
"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.
He said all parties including independent investigators, experts and a team from the Madang provincial government will also be part of the sampling.
“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].
作者: 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…
作者: 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.
“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.