BY PAPUA NEW GUINEA MINE WATCH
THE MAJORITY OWNER OF THE controversial Ramu nickel mine in Papua New Guinea, the Chinese Metallurgical Construction Company (MCC) Ltd, is reported to have been barred from doing work involving the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the Inter-American Development Bank.
This is because its sister companies, China First Metallurgical Construction Company and China First Metallurgical Group, have been found guilty of fraud and corruption in a World Bank investigation into the construction of a bridge in Bangladesh as part of the Dhaka Urban Transport Project.
The investigation found the bridge was so poorly constructed it was condemned before it was opened for fear it would have collapsed when people started using it – potentially killing hundreds of people.
The Ramu nickel mine has been heavily criticised for alienating land from indigenous people, poor construction, use of imported convict labour, appalling health and safety standards, the planned dumping of toxic mine waste into the sea and the highly favourable tax holidays that it secured from the heavily pro-Chinese government of Michael Somare.
MCC was introduced into PNG by Australian based mining company company Highlands Pacific, a junior partner in the Ramu mine.