By Mathew Yakai in Changchun, China
THE catch phrase, “One Ramu NiCo, One Community” is new to me and hope you too.
I first came across this phrase on April 9, 2009 when I was visiting the Ramu NiCo Management (MCC) Ltd office in Beijing, the capital of China.
Ramu NiCo Management (MCC) Ltd is the company managing the multi million dollar Ramu Nickel Project in Madang, Papua New Guinea (PNG) on behalf of the Ramu Nickel Joint Venture (RNJV).
“One Ramu NiCo, One Community” was printed boldly on the bottom of the Ramu NiCo Management newsletter, Ramu Nickel UPDATER, currently published once every two months and circulated widely in PNG.
“One Ramu NiCo, One Community” got my attention for an obvious reason. I am still recovering from the media hype of the recent 2008 Beijing Olympic theme, “One World-One Dream” and now the coming Shanghai World Trade Expo 2010 with its theme, “Better City, Better Life”.
What really astonishes me and humbles my bones is that all these are aiming at enhancing human life in a society of human civilization, whether it be a village in Ramu, a city in Shanghai, a country like Iraq or the global family.
According to the Beijing 2008 Olympic website, “One World One Dream” fully reflects the essence and the universal values of the Olympic spirit – Unity, Friendship, Progress, Harmony, Participation and Dreams.
It expresses the common wishes of the people across the world to strive for a common future of mankind in spite of the differences of colors, language and races, to enjoy the spirit of the great game and seek through sports the ideal for peace.
It was the core concept of Beijing Olympic Games reflecting the value of harmony connoted in the concept of “people’s Olympic”, with the core concepts on “Green Olympic, High-tech Olympic and People’s Olympic”.
“One World, One Dream” is simple in expression, but profound in meaning. It is of China and the world.
It conveys a lofty ideal from the people of China, hand in hand with the people of this global community to create a bright future.
When China came up with the theme, she believes that the great nation with 5,000 years history on its way to modernization is committed to peaceful development, harmonious society and people’s happiness.
China today stands tall and being responsible in solving many regional and global problems of common interest, including the ongoing global financial crises and the recent swine flue.
No international and regional problem can be solved without China’s involvement. Thanks to 2008 Beijing Olympic Game, “One World, One Dream” is reflected.
Another major upcoming event in China is the Shanghai Expo 2010 with the theme “Better City, Better Life,” representing the common wish of whole humankind for a better living in the future urban environment, according to the Expo website.
This theme represents a central concern of the international community for future policy making, urban strategies and sustainable development.
The Expo will promote the blending of diverse cultures, economic prosperity, innovations of science and technology, remodeling of communities and interactions between urban and rural areas.
The 2008 Beijing catch phrase and the forthcoming Shanghai Expo theme have the explicit message of enhancing human life in the fast changing modern world of technological age to live harmoniously.
With that perception which was driven in my mind and also experiencing and seeing what China is doing today, I was equally caught by the Ramu NiCo’s ideal, “One Ramu NiCo, One Community”.
Frankly, the ideal is fundamentally having the desire to enhancing the local community and PNG’s economy while in the process of developing the resources.
The philosophy is similar to 2008 Beijing Olympic and Shanghai Expo 2010.
People living at the project site would express well the changes and benefits they obtain from the Ramu Project construction phase.
But the Ramu NiCo 2006-2008 Sustainability Report published on its website http://www.ramunico.com/index_en.php clearly spells out the benefit and its impacts on the local community in the two years construction periods.
UPDATER, the Ramu NiCo newsletter copies obtained from Beijing office and accessed on the website also reflects some of the tangible developments so far.
The PNG government failed to provide these since independence.
According to the Sustainability Report, the two years into construction has seen some major infrastructure programs completed.
They include heavy duty Ramu NiCo bridge at Banu, Usino-Bundi; the road from the Kurumbukari mine to the Madang-Lae Highway; and the road linking the limestone quarry with the processing plant.
Though the infrastructures intended for Project usage, these developments make travel easier for local residents and provide a much needed stimulus to the local economy.
“Whereas prior to the bridge and road being built, villagers spent two and a half days traveling from Kurumbukari to Madang, now it only takes half a day,” the Report states.
Although Ramu Nico Project is in the construction stage, it had already built its permanent corporate office in Madang, a new landmark in the town and just one of a number of measures it is taking that demonstrates its long-term commitment to PNG.
“Furthermore, in 2009 we will spend K8 million (USD 2.85 million) on building the South Link Road, an expenditure outside of our original MoA, made specifically for the Kurumbukari mine site community.”
“Now we are in discussion with the Madang Provincial Government and local landowner representatives on the implementation program,” states the Report.
Bank of PNG Governor Wilsom Kamit acknowledged that the increase in the construction sector and its spill over effects to the other sectors is attributed to Ramu NiCo Project and others in his Monetary Policy Statement.
In its project economic impact snapshot, the Ramu NiCo Sustainability Report states that the project will lead to an increase of 8-10 percent of PNG’s GDP.
Over K10 million in spin-off business opportunities and nearly 1,300 jobs have been created for PNG nationals during the construction phase.
“During the operation phase over K8.3 mil will be spent on improving local community service and 1, 500 job will be created for PNG nationals,” the report states.
Ramu NiCo is also establishing and supporting land owner companies, women’s group for self sustaining, local police and hospitals and aid posts, youth groups, churches, schools and other activities, bringing direct benefit to the people.
This is inline with Ramu NiCo’s target to “optimize progress through lean operation, reach production target as planned, build a harmonious relationship with the local communities and provide good returns to shareholders and stakeholders.”
The company is vary of the environmental impacts including sea, land and air and taking necessary measures with the engagement of overseas organizations and experts.
All is targeted towards its mission, “to build the Ramu Nickel Project into one of the world’s most successful nickel laterite mining and processing facilities.”
Ramu NiCo’s targets and missions with achievements achieved so far during its construction phase depicts its moto, “One Ramu NiCo, One Community”, depicting that Ramu NiCo is part of the community where the project is located and together with the community and the country, progress can be achieved on a win-win situation.
President of Ramu Nickel Mining Ltd, Madam Luo Shu said in her introduction of the newly published Sustainability Report that though 2009 will be tough given the world financial crises, Ramu NiCo is committed to its investment in PNG.
“Despite the yet-to-recovered global financial situation and the sluggish metal market, this year (2009), the management team and staff are committed to complete the site construction and start commissioning,” Madam Luo said.
This is good news for PNG’s economy and local project site land owners who will benefit directly from Ramu NiCo Project.
This is the motto of Ramu NiCo Management (MCC) Ltd to create opportunity for the people of PNG to enhance their livelihoods today and into the future.
Ramu NiCo recently published its RAMU NICO 2006-2008 Sustainability Report and is currently available on its website http://www.ramunico.com/index_en.php
The Report covers its most critical sustainability and business issues during the construction phase between 2006 and 2008 as one way of communicating with the stake holders and hopes to report on regular bases in the future.
Rich data and other information on the company and the project are detailed and can be useful to anybody who is interested in this multi billion dollar investment.
Also on the website are Ramu Nickel UPDATERs, the company newsletters and published news clippings from the daily newspapers. Other news and company profiles are detailed as well.
In the last two years during the construction phase, the benefits have been overwhelming to the project impacted people and the economy of PNG.
Given the projects life span of 20 years, one would imagine how the Ramu plain and the local communities’ will look like in the years ahead. This includes the economy of PNG.
Time will tell but what good that has been put in the area already is the harbinger of more benefits in the next 20 years as the Project gains maturity.
To see a successful project that will benefit both the people, the country and Ramu NiCo Management (MCC) Ltd and the stake holders, this scribe asks no more then total transparency and cooperation amongst all who contribute in various aspects.
From the Midddle Kingdom, the land of 5,000 years history to the virgin land of Paradise, language and culture can be of hindrance.
But the Chinese people are family oriented and have closeness with their family members, which is similar to PNG’s culture of family relationships.
Factors behind family relationship are mainly love and caring. People of China and PNG have the same heart.
“One Ramu NiCo, One Community” is a suitable motto to love and care for others while enhancing the livelihood.
Jia you!!! peng you men (加油!!! 朋友们)!
Friday, May 01, 2009
By Mathew Yakai in Changchun, China