Chinese-owned nickel plant spills waste into Papua New Guinea bay – by Melanie Burton and Tom Daly (Reuters U.S. – August 28, 2019)

MELBOURNE/BEIJING (Reuters) – Waste from a nickel plant in Papua New Guinea owned by Metallurgical Corporation of China spilled into the adjacent Basamuk Bay over the weekend, three sources told Reuters on Wednesday.

Locals noticed red discharge clouding parts of the bay that is next to the Ramu Nickel plant in Madang, Papua New Guinea, a local indigenous person who took photographs of the spillage told Reuters. The man declined to be identified because of the topic’s sensitivity.

The head of Papua New Guinea’s Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) said that its officials, as well as those from PNG’s Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (CEPA), had put together a preliminary report on the incident.

“MRA Mines Inspectors and CEPA Scientists have been at the site since last Monday to conduct investigations,” MRA Managing Director Jerry Garry told Reuters. He was unable to immediately offer additional details.

MCC, a unit of MinMetals, built and operates the plant, which produces a mixed hydroxide that is sent to China to the battery industry for electric vehicles. MCC did not respond immediately to an official request for comment.

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