PM gives third of Ok Tedi to Western Province

A recent protest by landowners in Western Province

A recent protest by landowners in Western Province

Radio New Zealand

The Papua New Guinea prime minister, Peter O’Neill, says the people of Western Province are to be given one third ownership in Ok Tedi Mine Ltd.

In a statement, the National Executive Council says it approved the free transfer of equity in Ok Tedi after consultation between landowners, the governor, Western Province officials and the national government.

It says the balance will be held by the people of PNG through the state.

Mr O’Neill says the decision is fair and just, and it will be of great benefit to the people of Western Province following decades of neglect.

The announcement comes amid ongoing controversy with PNG’s Sustainable Development Programme which is disputing the right of the government to assume complete of the 63 percent share of the mine it had held until a little over a year ago.

The SDP, which is chaired by former prime minister, Sir Mekere Morauta, is suing the government in the courts in Singapore, where the SDP is registered.

3 Comments

Filed under Financial returns, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

3 responses to “PM gives third of Ok Tedi to Western Province

  1. This is a break through in what has been a dream for landowners not only in Western Province, but also others, thus a precedent has been set.

    Ownership of Mine wholly by the PNGns is welcome because it means there will be greater retention of benefits. Since 80 % of the economic revenue for PNG is accredited to Mining & Petroleum Sectors, it means the volume has increased in real monetary terms, thus much is expected to diversify investment into other economic sectors such as downstream Agriculture projects.

    I am grateful this has happened.

    Only concern I have is managing of the windfall exercise Government has embarked on. If an authority can be established to be a watchdog in managing people’s equity. Anitua Group has to date been a successful entity owned and managed by the people of the Lihir Gold and they should be the next lot for such massive exercise.

    Otherwise congratulations to the people of Western Province and my hat off to PM Peter O’Neill and the NEC for setting history in the Mining Industry.

  2. Mycall Essam

    PIECE OF CAKE. EVEN THE 35% HE TOLD THE MEKAMUI GOVT IS NOT ENOUGH. HE MUST KEEP HIS HANDS IN PNG.

    • It is not as easy as Mycall thinks. A Landowner of a Resource Project – be it Mining or Petroleum, in a capitalist economy such as PNG, money comes by hard to invest in these projects. Given a free transfer as in the case of OK Tedi gives a stepping stone to the Landowners to build capacity to acquire more into the project. I believe they are not limited to 33 %, but options maybe open for them to increase stake.

      Also take note, Government in so far has been spreading the 20 – 30 % stake it held in the resource projects across the nation and imagine 30+ % now given to a concentrated group (landowners)….it is a windfall I bet.

      Similar trend applying to Mekamui, Mekamui should be wise to take up.

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