BY FRANK RAI
The Special Mining Lease Tenement for Ramu Nickel Project in Kurumbukari Area of Usino Bundi District, Madang has been awarded to Nogoi Yowo Omowo Land Group Incorporated by the Madang District Court.
The seven-year-old court battle ended last month when an appeal by the Kurumbukari Landowners Association and Ramu Nico Limited was dismissed by the court.
In his ruling, Magistrate George Epor ordered that Nogoi Yowo Omowo Incorporated Land Group be recognized and allotted the land as the traditional and customary owner for all intents and purposes.
Magistrate Epor ordered that all forms of benefits, royalties and fees due in respect of these lands be paid to Nogoi Yowo Omowo Incorporated Land Group, who are now the customary owners of the lands on which the nickel mine is located. from Kurumbukari.
The magistrate ruled that the first (Kurumbukari Landowners Association) and second (Community Affairs Division of the Ramu Nickel Project) defendants must ensure that the court order is enforced until the orders are canceled, revoked or canceled by a competent court.
Mr. Epor stated in the order that the developer of the land and any other company or developer extracting resources from said land will on that date deal exclusively with Nogoi Yowo Omowo ILG.
Nogoi Yowo Omowo ILG chairman and lead plaintiff John Black told the Post-Courier last week that he was a relieved man at the decision and would work to claim the benefits for his people.
He said the ILG was formed by landowners to address issues concerning their welfare.
He also acknowledged and thanked the Department of Lands and Planning and other government agencies for their continued trust and support over the years.