THE clan leaders and chiefs of Faiwolmin Association Incorporated representing six mine villages and the entire Faiwolmin tribe have refuted claims made by the national Government that they were consulted in the new shares distribution in Ok Tedi Mine.
The Faiwolmin Association said it had fully supported the move by the Government to takeover the Ok Tedi Mine ownership since 2013 and made several consultations through their local MP Boka Kondra, and were anticipating a proper consultative process to be followed involving all stakeholders in the distribution of the equity.
“However, the report in The National newspaper on December 15 stating that landowners were consulted was not true. Not even a Government delegation responsible for Ok Tedi mining equity distribution had consulted the landowners and the entire people of Western Province.
The people had been advised that the Government consultative team will be meeting with landowners to negotiate for equity distribution and other landowners benefits but we were surprised to see 33% share to Western Province,” the association said in a statement.
“The so-called hand-picked leaders who are making decisions for the people of Western Province have made us suffer for the past 30 years of Ok Tedi Mining operation.
“We want the landowners and people of Western Province to make a new destiny for ourselves. We don’t want to be just spectators again in the new Ok Tedi venture as it becomes another State-owned entity,” a statement, bearing 18 signatures of the clan chiefs and leaders of Faiwolmin Association, said.