25 Sep 2010

Chinese mine in PNG cleared to dump waste after judge lifts court injunction

10:43 am on 25 September 2010

A Papua New Guinea judge has lifted a court injunction that blocked a Chinese nickel mine from dumping waste into the sea off the country's northeast coast.

The battle between Metallurgical Corporation of China and local Rai Coast villagers, who did not want waste from the mine piped into their bay, came to an end yesterday afternoon.

Judge David Cannings lifted the injunction preventing MCC from building a deep-sea tailings pipe from the proposed 1 billion US dollar Ramu nickel mine in the northeast coastal province of Madang.

He also granted the three plaintiffs leave to withdraw from the case.

The costly halt in construction had threatened the entire project.

The case was due to resume last Tuesday in Madang's National Court, but the three villagers bringing the action failed to appear and sent a fax message asking the court to drop the proceedings.

They also sacked their lawyer, Tiffany Nonggorr.

Ordered to appear at Wednesday's court session, the three villagers confirmed they no longer wanted to proceed with the case despite months of campaigning against MCC.