Ramu back in business

HIGHLANDS Pacific says the partners in the Ramu nickel project have been given the green light to restart construction at the project’s deep-sea tailings facility, after an interim injunction preventing work on the project was lifted last week.
Ramu back in business Ramu back in business Ramu back in business Ramu back in business Ramu back in business

In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange today, Highlands Pacific said the injunction was lifted in the National Court of Madang Province after three plantiffs dismissed their lawyer and were granted leave to discontinue the proceedings.

The lawyer attempted to join a new plantiff to the hearing before she was dismissed, however this was rejected by the court.

Successive delays regarding the construction of the deep-sea tailings placement (DSTP) system pushed the expected production start-up date at the project back almost six months, according to Highlands Pacific.

The most recent delays began in March, when a group of individuals who claimed to have an interest in customary land in and around Basamuk Bay, the site of the proposed tailings facility, won a temporary injunction preventing the construction of the facility.

Highlands Pacific owns an 8.56% share in the $US1.4bn ($A1.46bn) nickel project in Papua New Guinea.

The project is being developed by RamuNiCo, a 61%-owned subsidiary of China Metallurgical Construction Corporation (MCC) as project manager, with other Chinese partners including Jinchuan group, Jilin Jien Nickel Industry Co and Jiguan Iron and Steel (Group) Co.

Highlands Pacific now says start-up is likely in the March quarter of next year.

Company managing director John Gooding said today it is a pleasing result for Ramu.

"This is a great outcome for all stakeholders - in particular the communities surrounding the project, whose support of the project has never been stronger. The project can now get on with the task of completing the remaining construction and commissioning," he said.


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