Highlands Pacific comes clean to ASX

Australian listed Highlands Pacific, part owner of the Ramu nickel mine in Papua New Guinea, has finally come clean to Australian investors about a court injunction that is preventing the dumping of mine waste into the sea and therefore the start of production from the mine.

Three weeks ago ACT NOW! made formal complaints to both the Australian Stock Exchange and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission that Highlands Pacific was issuing incorrect and misleading information in its disclosures to the Stock Exchange. 

ACT NOW! alleged that Highlands Pacific had misled the market by, among other things, failing to disclose that since 30 September the mine has been unable to dump waste into the sea because of court undertakings and injunctions.

Highlands Pacific has now corrected the record in its latest quarterly report, released on 29 October, albeit in two poorly constructed and rather belligerent sounding sentences. 

The first informs the market that "Operation of DSTP [deep sea tailings placement] subject to future PNG court hearing early next year".

A little later, Managing Director John Gooding adds: "Full operation, pending a successful legal hearing in January 2011, could see production in March next year". 

While ACT NOW! is pleased that Highlands Pacific has now informed investors and the market that it is currently prevented from dumping in the sea, it is disappointed Highlands Pacific is still pursuing the marine dumping despite the fact the practice would not be permitted in Australia.

ACT NOW also remains concerned Highlands Pacific has not condemned intimidation and violence against local landowners legitimately pursuing their legal rights through the courts.