Dumping mining waste in sea harmful but not illegal

A group of landowners in Papua New Guinea say they will appeal against a court’s decision not to ban a nickel mine from dumping mining waste into the sea.

Papua New Guinea’s National Court has rejected an application for a permanent halt to the use of deep sea waste disposal by the 1.5 billion dollar Chinese-owned Ramu Nickel mine, near Madang.

The judge said it is likely the dumping would cause “serious environmental harm” but it isn’t illegal and banning it at this late stage would have an adverse affect on the mine, its workers and investor confidence in PNG.

In a recent statement the Catholic Bishops Conference of PNG and Solomon Islands pointed to the historical failure of PNG mining ventures to bring the promised development and prosperity to the people.

“Despite creation of wealth and increase in government GDP, the history of mining and resource extraction in countries with widespread poverty and weak regulation by government should be a adequate warning: that for the majority of people mining can deliver only inflamed social conflict, the spread of disease, disrupted family life and traditional culture, a drain of professionals, permanent loss of livelihood through water contamination and interruption to land use patterns, damage, and worsened poverty. None of which can be compensated for by cash payment”


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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