Ramu NiCo Finally Wins DSTP Court Battle
THE SUPREME Court of PNG on Thursday, December 22, 2011 ruled in favour of Ramu NiCo and the State, when it dismissed the appeal by parties to prevent the operation of the deep sea tailings placement system (DSTP) at Ramu NiCo’s Refinery at Basamuk, in Rai Coast district of Madang province.
The case first started in March 2010 by a group of Rai Coast residents in order to permanently stop the construction and operation of the DSTP system.
In July 2011, Madang National Court rejected the injunction application following an exhaustive trial in February and March 2011. Afterwards, a group of Madang residents led by Louis Mediang filed the appeal to the Supreme Court. The appeal was heard on the 4th and 5th of October 2011 by a bench consisting of Davani J, Hartshorn J and Sawong J.
In addition to reaffirming the National Court decision that no injunction should be available, the Supreme Court also upheld the submissions of the cross-appellants, namely, Ramu NiCo Management (MCC) Limited, the PNG state and Dr Wari Iamo by quashing the declaratory orders made at the Madang National Court that the appellants had established causes of action in private and public nuisance regarding the operation of the DSTP and that the operation of the DSTP is contrary to the National Goal No. 4 (Natural Resources and Environment) of the Constitution.
It is also ordered that the appellants shall pay the cross-appellants costs at both the National Court and the Supreme Court proceedings.
Ramu NiCo believes that this decision is a crucial outcome for all stakeholders in PNG’s first world-class Nickel project, as well as for the international investors in PNG’s resources industry.
After a 21-month legal battle, this comprehensive victory is finally achieved through patience and persistence, along with strong support from the community and the PNG Governments.
In operation, Ramu NiCo will continue to work closely with the Government and other stakeholders to meet the environmental obligations and international best practices.
The Ramu Nickel Project has been constructed at a cost of USD 1.5 billion and is undergoing staged commissioning. The Ramu DSTP system was first approved in 2000 at the time when the Project is granted the Special Mining Lease. The Project received amended Environment Permit in 2007 and 2009 respectively.