Purported Scientific Report Not Recognised: Ramu NiCO
The billion kina Ramu NNickle project in Madang Province has brushed aside scientific findings into its Basamuk Refinery operation waste disposal method and its alleged environmental impact.
The company said the Switzerland based consultant is not an authorised body. Ramu NiCo management said Swiss based scientist Dr Alex Mojon engaged by the Madang provincial government was not authorised by the Conservation Environment and Protection Authority (CEPA), the regulator responsible to conduct such independent investigation into the Basamuk slurry spill (August 24) incident.
“We will only accept the officially sanctioned independent investigation report from CEPA, which we believe is ready and the minister concerned will release soon. “We doubt whether the scientific report and Madang provincial Governments’ engagement are independent in nature. Of course it is only independent for them but not for official purpose and we out rightly ignore the findings,” Ramu NiCo management said.
Swiss scientists Dr Alex Mojon carried out an independent investigation on the sea waters around the Madang areas before and after the Basamuk refinery on Aug 24 slurry spill and reported that the sea water and general environments were impacted by the RamuNiCo Basamuk operation. Madang provincial government engaged the scientist and the report were presented in Port Moresby on Wed Oct 9.
But miner MCC said the release of the “so called independent report” for Madang provincial government is ill timed and in direct defiance of an official government sanctioned report through CEPA whose findings are yet to be presented.
“Only after CEPA, through the Environment Minister presents its findings, can anyone include the MPG come out to challenge its findings and not the Madang provincial government coming out prematurely like this,” the miner said.
“Ramu NiCo management is asking CEPA and the government authorities to confirm if the foreign Swiss scientist was authorised to collect samples and produce a damaging report as such towards a genuine foreign investor, Ramu Nickel/Cobalt which is important to the Madang economy and the country. “We were not even notified of their investigation so we can assist.
We have SOP (standard operating procedures) to collect samples, store them and conduct investigation and we question whether those procedures were followed.”
The company said CEPA produced a preliminary report last week saying the quality of the sea water is within the baseline concentration and acceptable. The full report will be released soon.
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