Image Caption: Albert Tobe - Deputy General Manager, Community Affairs, Ramu NiCo Management, speaking at the 2021 PNG Mining and Petroleum Conference and Exhibition

02 Dec 2021

The Ramu Nickel and Cobalt project was first discovered in 1962. Prefeasibility Explorations were made by Highlands Pacific Ltd until 2000, when a Special Mining Lease was issued to HPL and Oregon Minerals.

Project financing for the Joint Venture project was finalized in 2004, and construction began in 2006 until 2011. The project was commissioned in 2012 and has been in operation since 2013.

The current structure of the Ramu Nickel Project has MCC Ramu owning 85%; HPL owning 8.56%; MRDC (3.94%); with 2.5% held by the project landowners.

Response to COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be the biggest challenge facing the project. The project develop has given high priority to ensuring a targeted response to the pandemic, while maintaining its operations by:

·        Implementing strict control measures to prevent occurrence and spread of COVID-19 at all project sites

·        Establishment of covid19 testing laboratory at our Madang Base office and contracting of Sky Health Services to conduct routine covid19 tests.

·        Promoting voluntary vaccinations for both employees and contractors

·        Rationalising field breaks for employees to comply with Government’s restrictions on international and inter-provincial travels

·        Conducting counselling and other physical and mental health programs to help employees cope with unusual, prolonged work schedules without breaks.

·        Actively participating and cooperating with the Local authorities to prevent the occurrence and spread of covid19 in Madang Province.

·        The company has spent a total of K11.1m on COVID-19 mitigation measures

Community Development Fund (CDF)

MCC Ramu’s setting up of the CDF has allowed it to contribute effectively to the needs of its surround impact communities.

This fund contributes K1.2m every year.

Compensation Payments

In 2020, the company spent up to K8.9m in compensation payments:

·        Land Use & Occupation – K340,000

·        Plants & Environment Compensation – K1.7m

Education

Toward education, the company has spent K1.3m:

·        Teachers’ house built in 2020 under CDF – Badiat Primary School

·        Double Classroom building built this year under the CDF for Yanglap Elementary School

·        School fee subsidies from 2013 to 2020, total K926,000

Health

In Health, and outside of its commitment to COVID measures, the company has spent K1.3m through donations of medical equipment to the Usino Health Center, and the quarterly supply of medicinal drugs.

Gender Development & Empowerment

The company has helped the local communities through the funding of Women’s poultry projects, and small business.

Agriculture

In Agriculture, the company has funded cocoa nurseries and an ACIAR-RNML Partnership Training Program at Erima, in the Astrolabe Bay LLG area in Madang.

Royalty

The project has spent K93, 800, 520.15 in royalty payments from 2013 to 2020.

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