MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Scientist calls for end to PNG mine dumping

Published by MAC on 2008-11-17
Source: Radio Australia

An Australian-based scientist is calling on the Papua New Guinea government to stop a mining company from dumping millions of tonnes of waste into the ocean.

The Chinese government-owned Ramu nickel mine says the waste will not harm the environment.

Our reporter Steve Marshall says scientists funded by the European Union say the mine is basing its assessment on out of date data.

Gregg Brunskill, from the Australian Institute for Marine Science, says the PNG government must not allow the waste to be dumped off the Medang coast.

"The coral triangle has the highest diversity in the world of corals and fish. If the New Guinea government is honest about this in supporting the coral triangle initiative then they shouldn't be dumping this waste into this area."

Greg Brunskill says it won't be known just how harmful the waste will be on the Medang marine life until well after the mine starts operating.

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