PNG orders China-owned nickel plant to shut over slurry discharge

Papua New Guinea (PNG) has ordered a nickel processing plant owned by Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC) to close for not taking unspecified "remedial" actions, the head of the country's mining regulator said yesterday. Ramu Nickel was ordered
PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Papua New Guinea (PNG) has ordered a nickel processing plant owned by Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC) to close for not taking unspecified "remedial" actions, the head of the country's mining regulator said yesterday.

Ramu Nickel was ordered shut "for not adhering to remedial measures issued six weeks ago", Mr Jerry Garry, managing director of PNG's Mineral Resources Authority, told Reuters.

The measures were related to a slurry spill in August, local media reported. A spokesman for MCC confirmed the shutdown order, but also said the company was considering its legal options.

Local press reported yesterday that the closure was indefinite, until the completion of an investigation into the spill that caked the shoreline of Basamuk Bay with red mud.

The results of an investigation into the spill by Australian laboratory ALS Global found no ongoing environmental impact, the Post Courier reported last week.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 25, 2019, with the headline 'PNG orders China-owned nickel plant to shut over slurry discharge'. Print Edition | Subscribe