Tag Archives: Chris Haiveta

Mountain of allegations & many questions about MRDC scandals

Mekere Morauta

Mekere Morauta | PNG Attitude | 12 September 2019

New information about the scandal-plagued Mineral Resources Development Corporation has become available, reinforcing the urgent need for an inquiry into its operations and the status of the hundreds of millions of kina it manages on behalf of landowner companies.

There is now a mountain of allegations about MRDC and its landowner subsidiaries. I expect that in the coming weeks more will be revealed about their dubious activities and the real value of the investments they have made, purportedly in the interest of landowners.

The latest revelations affirm prime minister James Marape’s decision to hold an inquiry into MRDC, and add substance to existing allegations of possible fraud, misappropriation, abuse of office and breaches of various laws including the Public Finances (Management) Act, the Companies Act and the Auditor-General’s Act.

It is in the public interest that these allegations are fully tested in a formal inquiry.

The new allegations came within a matter of hours of public comments in defence of MRDC and their own operations by Gulf Governor Chris Haiveta, the interim chairman of MRDC landowner company Petroleum Resources Gobe, and John Natto, the chairman of MRDC’s Petroleum Resources Kutubu.

They covered a wide range of activities by MRDC and its subsidiaries, including the expenditure of landowner trust funds I identified in parliament on 4 September.

One example is K30 million that was allegedly withdrawn from an MRDC subsidiary’s account in November last year.

Landowners have an absolute right to know the details of the processes involved in its use, the people responsible, the purpose of the expenditure, and the ultimate destination of the funds.

There are some important questions the prime minister’s inquiry should consider in this specific instance:

Where did the K30 million come from – was the ultimate source an account held by Petroleum Resources Gobe?

Was the K30 million drawn down in November 2018, and was approval granted by the PRG board at that time?

Was a board meeting, not attended by landowner directors Philip Kende (then chairman) and George Kisi, held in January this year to restrospectively ratify the draw-down?

Is it true that the K30 million was then split between Petroleum Resources Kutubu and Mineral Resources Star Mountains then shifted out, purportedly to pay for a shortfall in finances for the construction of the Hilton Hotel/Star Mountains Plaza?

On what authority did PRK and MRSM accept the transfer of funds to their accounts and is there any documentation to support the transfer?

Can the MRDC, PRK and MRSM boards demonstrate with documentation that the money was actually used on the Hilton, and not for some other purpose?

These are just some of the concerns about MRDC and its landowner subsidiaries raised by credible sources. Other allegations have been made about MRDC’s involvement in HeviLift, Dirio Gas and Power, resorts in Samoa and Fiji, the Four-Mile Casino, Ela Beach land and Moran Haus in Lae.

It is clear from the reaction of MRDC that it is terrified of being exposed to the disinfectant of sunlight – it would much rather its activities remain hidden from scrutiny.

I have been reliably informed that extraordinary measures have been taken by board and management to cover up their activities, including IT measures and video surveillance of staff members.

In the face of this MRDC campaign against transparency and accountability, I encourage members of the public with information about MRDC and its activities to contact the Police Fraud Squad

The decision by the MRDC group not to publish all its audited accounts means that public suspicions and questions will not go away.

So I urge Governor Haiveta and Mr Natto to use their influence and involvement to ensure that MRDC publishes all the group’s outstanding audited financial statements.

It is the lack of verified information, and the refusal of auditors and the Auditor-General to sign off on many financial statements, that give credence to the public’s fear that all is not well within the MRDC group.

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Papua LNG Talks In ‘Mexican Standoff’ As Govt Seeks New Gas Deal

Post Courier | August 21, 2019

The Papua LNG negotiations in Singapore have broken down into a ‘mexican standoff’ between two major oil conglomerates and the PNG government.

Talks centred on the Papua LNG agreement, signed early this year between developer Total of France and the PNG government. Hopes were high, there was an air of anticipation. But over the weekend in Singapore, the talks in Asia’s scenic garden city state never eventuated. Instead, details are all being hushed up although there is really nothing to hide as each camp retreated their home countries.

The PNG government delegation led by Petroleum Minister Kerenga Kua returned quietly, empty handed and in low spirits.

The government is seeking to re-adjust the agreement, which seeks, among others, more for landowners. Total executives have shied away from an official comment as they told the paper the statement will have to be sent back to France for approval from the hierarchy which will take a week.

ExxonMobil and Oil Search Limited, the other big two in Papua New Guinea remained zipped.

But insiders from Singapore say that the big French oiler Total and powerful US ‘conglomerate’ ExxonMobil refused to back down from demands already made public by the PNG government.

The oil and gas giants remain adamant that PNG government to respect the gas agreement signed this year. The insiders said that there was more at stake if the agreement was aborted and so much money already wasted. They also told the Post-Courier from Singapore that whatever the outcome, the players were ready to take the matter to court.

“The PNG government must respect the agreement that was signed and there’s so much at stake if the deal is aborted. Of course the company stands to lose but the biggest losers will be the State,” the insider said.

“The players spent billions of US dollars to get to where they are right now.

“What if they sue the State and ask for all the monies to be reimbursed? I mean you not looking at millions, you looking at billions.”

Gulf Governor Chris Haiveta, who is leaning towards the developers, is in Australia for the investment conference in Sydney. He is also not talking to the media yet.

Mr Kua is back in Moresby, his return, quiet and unheralded. He said late last week before heading to Singapore that the deal for the Papua LNG project could be modified if a government review found its terms unfavorable.

But early this week, he cautioned that considering what was at stake, the people’s expectations must be guarded during this period.

“The negotiations could work out well or even disastrously, but either way, the people must be ready to accept whatever outcome.”

Yesterday the PNG government was contacted but the paper was advised an official statement will be released by before end of the week.

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Energy Minister On Mayur Bandwagon

Gorethy Kenneth | Post Courier | March 22, 2019

Energy Minister Sam Basil says promoting clean coal in PNG is the way to go now because it will be the cheapest electricity supply for households.
Mr Basil addressing the media in Port Moresby, voiced support for Mayur Resources in the pretext of providing energy mix in PNG, saying it was time PNG promoted clean coal as a definite mixture and possibly cheap energy to help especially rural PNG.
“In a few weeks time, early April, the signing will happen, we will be looking at power generation and during presentations this week we have heard different companies talking about shipping gas, producing gas, processing gas, running power stations and talking about big mines that will be coming into production soon, and they require power, and it’s a very exciting time for PNG because those investments will improve the economy of PNG and of course improve the life of so many people,” Mr Basil said.
“Like I said before, we do have high voltage lines crisscrossing the nation and people are still asking for power, so investing into different kind of mixes also helps PNG not to suffer when disaster strikes…look at the recent earthquake, gas stopped supplying for three months, if we provide mixes, we are covered so if more than 50 per cent of our population rely on one type of energy we will have a problem.
“For example, hydro, when drought hits, we are affected.
“There are many opportunities available and one of them we didn’t talk about during the conference is the way to power and opportunities are there.
“We do have wind and good locations and of course, we got big deposits of coal in the Gulf.
“All we want is to bring the cost of power down, it’s got to be reliable and it’s got to be cheap and this is what we want in Papua New Guinea.”

Basil not ashamed to push for coal energy

Peter Esila | The National aka The Loggers Times | March 22, 2019
ENERGY Minister Sam Basil says he is not ashamed to talk about coal being used to drive industrialisation in Papua New Guinea.
“I am not ashamed to talk about all types and forms of energy, clean coal being part of it,” he said.
Basil was flanked by Gulf Governor Chris Haiveta and Mayur Resources managing director Paul Mulder. Mayur wants to build a coal power plant in Lae. The coal will be mined in Gulf.
Basil said Australia and Indonesia both had over 70 per cent of their power mixes from coal.
“Here we are, in a tiny, small nation, talking about clean energy while we allow those two big neighbours to smoke the atmosphere for us and our forest are being used as carbon sink,” he said.
“In a few weeks’ time, first week of April, the signing will happen.
“PNG must not be fools in their own country while other countries are using activists to drive anti-coal campaigns,”
Haiveta said the commercialisation of Gulf coal would happen.
He said coal was a base-load power while other energy sources like solar, hydro and wind fluctuated.
“Coal has been the mainstay of the industrial revolution,” Haiveta said.
“What is the big hiccup? We need Papua New Guineans to have free power. If we are the landowners, give us free power.”
Mulder said the project would create jobs for local people.
“We have a nation that has 13 per cent electrification,” he said. “We have got a huge number of people who want jobs. They want manufacturing. When producing this power, we can use clean coal technology.”

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Resource Agreements Unfair: Haiveta

Mayur Resources managing director Paul Mulder signing an agreement in 2017 with Gulf Provincial Governor Chris Havieta 

Post Courier | September 18, 2018

GULF Governor Chris Haiveta has told his people that current agreements for oil, gas and forestry were not negotiated in their favour.

Delivering his independence message in Kerema last weekend, Mr Haiveta said he wants all agreements under the UBSA and LBSA re-visited and re-negotiated.

He said he felt his people – the majority resource owners – had been short changed and robbed of their resources.

Mr Haiveta and his people hosted Governor General Sir Bob Dadae over the Independence long weekend.

He said: “Our province recognises that current resource agreements in oil and gas and forestry have not been negotiated in the province’s favour.

“This has meant that essential and strategic infrastructure like ports, towns and roads in the project areas have not been built, leaving the province, Kikori district where the projects are located, particularly to miss out completely.

“Therefore we are moving in this term of parliament to ensure that all these agreements are revisited and they are legally compliable and enforceable by all parties.

“We have resolved the UBSA and LBSA agreements including the Gulf landowners and Provincial Governments benefits from the existing Oil and LNG Pipeline to Caution Bay be re-negotiated.”

He said that for the future, ‘we will ensure that resources agreements are properly negotiated and drafted to include all necessary and possible infrastructure needs for the project areas, including the upcoming LNG, coal mining, limestone, mineral sand mining and timber harvesting’.

Mr Haiveta said: “We are glad the national government has started the process of devolution of powers from Waigani to provinces, and Gulf Province is poised to receive decentralisation of powers soon.

“As a step forward to this, we will be signing the Service Delivery Partnership Agreements soon which will pave the way for a synchronised delivery of services between the two open electorates and the provincial government.”

He said his people have abundant renewable and non renewable natural resources both on the land and in the seas.

“Our sea boundaries encompass an area that is twice our land mass, we have significant marine resources with reef systems such as Pocklington and Eastern Fields that remain unexplored commercially and for tourism.

“We also have the largest prawn fishery in the country which is exploited directly from Port Moresby.

“Our forestry industry composed from Port round logging exports brings little benefit to the province as it is a nationally controlled activity.”

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“Government Will Not Repeat Mistake With Papua LNG”

Post Courier | May 30, 2018

PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill has told Parliament that the government will not repeat the same mistakes when dealing with the new Papua LNG project or any other resource project.

He said the developer of Papua LNG would have to complete social mapping and landowner identification before any project is developed.

Mr O’Neill also said the government would review the laws to make it compulsory for consultation with provincial governments and landowners.

“We may have to review the legislation around the consultation process, but in terms of the resources sectors in mining, petroleum and gas industry, I think there is quite a very good consultation process between the stakeholders, especially the landowners and the provincial governments,” he said.

“I would also want to announce that in terms of the second LNG project for Elk Antelope, I want to inform Parliament that we have also included the Governor for Gulf in the State negotiation team.”

He said this follows the precedence set by the Somare government in the first LNG project where the governors for Southern Highlands and Hela were included in the negotiation teams so they are fully engaged in every stage of the negotiation that is taking place.

“I certainly do not want to make the mistakes of the first LNG, where landowners were not properly identified now we are having a difficult process of clan vetting as all sorts of clans are popping up and it can be a cumbersome and difficult exercise,” he said.

“That’s what we are trying to avoid and we want to make sure that developers take on the responsibility as stipulated in the Oil and Gas Act and in the Mining Act.

“They must identify and do the social mapping properly so that the right benefits go to the rightful landowners and stakeholders in the projects,” he said.

Mr O’Neill was responding to questions from Gulf Governor Chris Haiveta relating to provincial government representation in the extractive industry and the level of consultation and the time which these consultations are allowed for by the provincial governments and the resource owners.

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Mayur surges on with nation-build [sic] agenda

Mayur managing director Paul Mulder with Gulf Provincial Governor Chris Haiveta signing the agreement on December 7

PNG Industry News | 2 February 2018 

MAYUR Resources’ ‘PNG nation-building agenda’ featured strongly in the company’s quarterly report for December 2017, which was released yesterday.

Highlights of the quarter included a 22-hole diamond drilling campaign completed at its Port Moresby limestone project and the subsequent announcement of a 382 million tonne resource there.

The company said that good progress was made on Mayur’s nation-building agenda with the memorandum of understanding signed with the government of Gulf province and another MOU with Kumul Petroleum.

“Gulf Province is situated adjacent to Central Province and is home to extensive mineral and energy resources. Mayur has extensive mineral exploration interests in Gulf Province and intends to leverage the proximity of plentiful, cheap and accessible domestic energy to industrial mineral resources to deliver various development opportunities for the region,” the company said.

The Kumul MOU centred on the sourcing and supply of gas for its proposed vertically integrated lime and cement business at Caution Bay, 25km north of Port Moresby and adjacent to the PNG LNG plant.

Mayur’s maiden diamond drilling campaign began at the Basilaki copper gold project in Milne Bay Province.

Mayur said it was continuing to work with Era Resources towards the development of a power plant to supply Era’s Yandera copper-moly-gold project in Madang Province.

“The company has supplied technical and commercial inputs for the supply of up to 200MW for the Yandera pre-feasibility study and expects to hold further discussions with Era pending the completion of this PFS and advancement to DFS stage.”

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Silly season comes early in Gulf

Australian firm taps into Gulf resources

The National aka The Loggers Times | December 11, 2017

AUSTRALIAN company Mayur Resources now has an exclusive licence to develop a resource, energy and industrial complex in Gulf.
An agreement was signed on Friday between Governor Chris Haiveta and Mayur managing director Paul Mulder in Port Moresby.
Haiveta said the agreement would use resources it had discovered in Gulf such as iron sands, zircon, ilmenite, coal and high grade silica sands for domestic use and export opportunities.
He said this would be done while leveraging favourable port areas in Gulf and the domestic market obligation for gas for a petrochemical industry.
“Our country is in an energy crisis and we continue to send foreign currency offshore and import foreign liquid fuels at a far higher cost and far higher polluting than using our own domestic energy sources,” he said.
“Other Asia-Pacific countries are using their domestic energy and industrial resources.”
PNG is importing most of our energy and nation building products even such things as cement, lime and diesel that enriches other countries rather than our own.
“Our Prime Minister has advocated cheap, reliable accessible energy while doing this in an environmentally beneficial manner that improves our current state.”
Haiveta said the time for talking about the concept was over.
“We need action. We need growth. We need employment. We need industry. We need prosperity. And we only get this by having access to cheap, reliable power,” he said.
“Gulf today has taken the next step to use its gas, iron coal and other mineral sand resources and bring us out of the dark and poverty.
“Our plans are nothing different to what Japan, Australia, New Caledonia, West Papua, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand.”
Mulder said Mayur Resources had been working for over five years to explore minerals in Gulf, Central and Western.

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