MRA orders Basamuk plant’s closure

The Mineral Resources Authority’s Mines Inspectorate has ordered the shutdown of operations at Ramu NiCo Management (MCC) Limited’s Basamuk Processing Plant.

The Plant has closed down its processing operations on October 21st following the order.

The Basamuk Processing Plant was ordered to cease operations because it has failed to adequately rectify defects identified and recommended for rectification during the investigations by the Mineral Resources Authority’s mine inspectorate into the slurry overflow incident. This resulted in the spillage of slurry into the sea on August 24th.

The defects identified during the investigations, among others, were as follows:

  1. Incompetency of operators
  2. Inadequate bund capacity
  3. Inadequate spillage containment system
  4. Inadequate maintenance of instrumentation and machines, among others.

Minister for Mining, Johnson Tuke, in a media conference said the resumption of operations will depend on the successful completion of the remedial works.

Under the Mining (Safety) Act 1977 and Regulations, the inspectorate is empowered to order cessation of operations of mines and works, if their operations pose safety risks to mine employees.

Meantime, the Chief Inspector of Mines, Lave Michael, is very particular about preventing incidents and has appealed to the Mining Industry to comply with laws and protect mine employees from hazardous and high risk operations.

The inspectorate’s investigations and actions are based on the provisions of the Mining (Safety) Act 1977.

(The sea being discoloured from the slurry spill)

Freddy Mou