After 30 years of mining Ok Tedi landowner issues still not resolved…
Reuben Tabel | PNG Loop
THE vice chairman of Faiwolmin Association and chairman for Ok Tedi Mining Negotiation Tonny Itulam is urging the Fly River Provincial Government and Governor Ati Wobiro not to share the 33 percent share of OTML equity allocated by the National Government.
He is calling on the National Government through the mining department, to conduct full scale social mapping immediately.
He urged the National Government to conduct full scale environment impact and socio economic impact studies and to fairly declare true principle landowners by clans for the customary land owners of Ok Tedi Mining.
He claimed that there is no wider consultation at the CMCA communities and the six SML 1 villages’ communities are not aware of the 33% equity and its justification.
He said Ok Tedi is a significant mine because it has Supplementary Bills and where in PNG Mining Acts 1982 or PNG Constitution caters for such bill in accordance.
He said there had been no mining development forums to date or benefits agreement forum, therefore there should be no extension of exploration by the OTML geologist or exploration team, new sites for mining should not be started, and extension licences should not be granted, but for the miners to continue to dig and operate only the Mt Fubilan pit.
Mr Itulam said OTML as the operator company and the National Government should go back and see the customary land owners for fresh negotiations as a way forward.
He said they should not jump into sharing the 33% equity, but should pour all the funds into the National Government Trust Account and sort out issues promptly and efficiently.
Both the chairman of Faiwolmin Association Obert Sotiok and Tonny Itulam have jointly stated their people’s position that unless all landowner issues are solved amicably by the operator company and the National Government, the Ok Tedi Mining will continue the Phase two or Ok Tedi 2 Mining.
He said they were prepared to seek the highest court to interpret the Ok Tedi Mining Supplementary Bill as to whether these agreements have full reorganisation for customary landowners, whether there is justice or injustice.
He urged the National and Fly River Provincial Government to jointly fund Ok Tedi Mining Customary Land Owners Identification (Social Mapping) immediately.
“Thirty years is enough to evaluate all effects of Ok Tedi Mining and we cannot allow or repeat past history,” he said.
“We are calling for fully customary land owners’ recognition by tribal clans of Ok Tedi Mining landholders,’’ Mr Itulam said.
He said the Faiwolmin Association supported MP Nixon Mangape’s call for a review of mining aws or acts, and resource sector landowners to share 50% of project shares to meaningfully participate in business.