Authority gives Ramu NiCo regular operation approval

The Mines Inspectorate of the Mineral Resources Authority has given Ramu NiCo Management (MCC) Ltd the green light to restart the regular operations of the nickel/cobalt project.

The permission was given last Thursday (July 21) following the conditional permit since the commissioning of the Project.

The Inspectorate also issued orders for the restart and operation of HPAL (high pressure acid leach) train three at Basamuk Refinery and the relaxation of cessation order of blasting of limestone at the Basamuk limestone quarry.

The Mines Inspectorate initially ordered for the temporary shutdown of HPAL train three on April 15 following a fatality at Basamuk Refinery on April 12. However, the train will now operate in parallel with trains one and two.

Ramu NiCo’s Basamuk Refinery deputy general manager, Adam Lukey, in making the announcement, said this is a very positive step and a monumental day for the company.

The announcement was made in the presence of Ramu NiCo president Wang Jicheng and vice presidents at Basamuk Refinery, which was watched simultaneously in Madang and Kurumbukari Mine.

Lukey said the conditional approval requires the company to fully attend to the conditions specified in several reports, including third party investigation report, HPAL train one and train two safety report and HPAL train three incident investigation report, which was submitted to the Inspectorate.

Lukey stressed that as a business, Ramu NiCo would conduct safety audits of the refinery by competent persons and provide a detailed report of health and safety issues identified. These are important items with 20 conditions given by the Mines Inspectorate.

“We need to continue our assurances and our commitment from senior management and the refinery teams to take all the necessary measures to ensure health and safety of all persons at the refinery,” Lukey said.

Ramu NiCo (MCC) president Wang, in acknowledging the approval order, stated that although the fatal incident of April 12 at the refinery was serious, it was also a lesson to learn from.

He said the refinery management must change the progress load efficiency style to push forward the management to a higher safety standard.

Although the Company had been issued orders, there are still a lot of rectification works to be done. Wang tasked the Basamuk Refinery management team to interpret the 20 conditions and reach a consensus with the management to push forward all the rectifications based on the priority of items.

The president also stressed the fundamentals of management and urged all managers to create a positive atmosphere in their respective work places so all employees can follow the good practices.

“Good work environment shapes people’s personality,” Wang stated.

(MRA inspectors Joseph Omare and Simon Gena, with Ramu NiCo senior management, visiting HPAL area at Basamuk Refinery.)