26 Mar 2010

PNG landowners back Ramu nickel project

3:26 pm on 26 March 2010

Four landowners' associations from the region where the huge Ramu nickel mine is being developed in Papua New Guinea say they strongly back the project.

This comes after the National Court decision to grant a restraining order on the development after another group of landowners raised concerns about environmental threats from the dumping of tailings in Basamuk Bay off Madang.

The landowning groups, Kurumbukari, Basamuk, Maigari and Pipeline, say they have worked closely with the developer, the Chinese Metallurgical Construction Company, and the provincial and national governments to ensure the project becomes operational on time.

They say the landowners who brought the legal action are not genuine.

The groups want the Land Title Commissioners to meet as soon as possible to identify the genuine landowners and their traditional and legal rights.

They say they believe that by careful planning and management, the mine can be operated responsibly, bring much-needed economic and social development to the region while minimizing the environmental impact.