Post Courier | April 17, 2018
The people of Western Province finally own 33 percent of the giant Ok Tedi Copper Mine following the handover of equity share certificates by Ok Tedi Mining Limited Board Chairman Sir Moi Avei to Governor Taboi Awi Yoto yesterday in Kiunga.
“OTML is now a third owned by the people of Western Province,” Sir Moi told a large gathering of locals and invited guests in front of the grand Cassowary hotel.
“We have heard so much about this 33 percent. Is it every going to happen? The board in its wisdom made a decision that the only way to move this share transfer is loan MRDC K30million to pay for the stamp duty. Governor the stamp duty has been paid. OTML is now one third owned by the people of Western Province,” Sir Moi Avei told the excited crowds.
He also said this ensures that politics cannot interfere now because they own more than thirty percent of the mine.
Western Governor Taboi Yoto said in the past we were told that we own 63 percent but we do not have direct control of the funds.
“We have direct control of the 33 percent and that’s the difference,” Mr Taboi Yoto said.
According to the Governor out of the 33 percent, 12 percent is owned by CMCA communities through their board, the mine villages own 8.4 percent and the Fly River Provincial Government owns 12.6 percent.
“For the government with the four MPs, the PEC members and the LLG presidents, we will decide how we will use the money for development purposes.
“I thank the government of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill for this.”