Tag Archives: Peter O’Neill

Amendments Made To Ok Tedi Agreement

Post Courier | April 16, 2018

PARLIAMENT has made amendments to the Ok Tedi Agreement to allow the company access to US$35 million (K116m) to sustain its operations and growth.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, who introduced the Ok Tedi Continuation, Ninth Supplemental Agreement Act in Parliament last week, said Ok Tedi Mine Limited is obliged to establish a reserve account to be kept in US dollars in an account approved by the company and the State.

He said to meet that purpose a fund (referred to as the financial assurance fund, or FAF, was established. The sole purpose of the FAF is to ensure funds are set aside to meet the mine closure obligations.

“On a regular basis (every four years from the time it was first done in 2009), Ok Tedi Mining Limited reviews the mine closure liability, with such review being independently audited, and submitted to the MRA and CEPA for approval,” Mr O’Neill said

He said the most recent review and audit was completed in 2017 with the approved mine closure estimate being $196 million.

He said the FAF currently has a balance of approximately US$231 million and is therefore over funded by approximately US$35 million.

“OTML, operating as a commercial entity, has high value opportunities to better use those funds for sustainment and growth investments in the business, and would like the ability to withdraw excess funds subject to approval by the State.”

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PNG government to sue BHP Billiton over alleged environmental damage

Children playing in tailings downstream from the Ok Tedi Mine in Papua New Guinea, 2009. (Brent Stirton/Getty Images)

ABC News | 11 April 2018

Papua New Guinea’s government says it will sue Australian mining giant BHP Billiton for alleged environmental damage in the Western Province when the company was operating the country’s largest copper mine in the 1990s.

It’s not the first time legal action has been touted.

In 2004, a massive law suit representing thousands of PNG landowners, was dropped after settlement was reached, which included compensation.

PNG’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says the government will also initiate an independent commission of inquiry into the PNG sustainable development program, which has been a subject of a court case in Singapore.

Former PNGSDP Chairman and Opposition member of Parliament Sir Mekere Morauta says Mr O’Neill doesn’t understand the purpose of the project.

Bethanie Harriman has the story: Listen Here 

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O’NEIL GOVERNMENT NOT INTERESTED IN FINDING OUT THE CAUSE OF DEVASTATING EARTHQUAKE

Panga-Kulu Anda-Harapa | PNG Blogs | April 06, 2018 

After hearing Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s response on the floor of Parliament to requests by several MPs for an Independent Inquiry into the cause of the recent earthquake in Hela and 5 other provinces, PNG and all interested friends of PNG can conclude that the O’Neil government is not interested, and will go out of its way to mislead the people of PNG and their Parliament.

In other democratic countries led by leaders mandated by the people, and have concern for their electors, the head of government wouldn’t want to leave any stone unturned and the cause established. In this case it wouldn’t only be in the interest of the O’Neil governments standing and integrity among governments of other civilized nations, but it will be in the interest of future generations of PNG and prevention of the repeat of such a calamity.

To any responsible Prime Minister and his government, alarm bells will be ringing especially when the epicentre of the earthquake is less than 3 km from the processed water re-injection well (at Tokaju, Hides4, Hela Province) of a major Oil/gas project.

The questions-without-notice was simply for the report on the cause of the earthquake to be tabled in Parliament, if any done and if not then an Independent inquiry be set up.

PM O’Neill just brushed off the question saying “…the Australians are doing the investigation” and he further went on to talk about a “ring-of-fire” and tectonic plates etc and declared on the floor of Parliament that the earthquake was not caused by the activities of the natural gas/oil companies operating in Hides, Hela Province.

First of all how can conclusions be drawn about whether the earthquake and its aftershocks were tectonic in origin as PM O’Neill has? and to be fair, how can the opponents (including myself) claim it was triggered by gas extraction and water injection at Hides without a full independent inquiry conducted with inputs from a wide range of specialists from around the world?

The PM informed Parliament that Geoscience Australia (GA) has made the finding that the earthquake was due to natural causes, and that he will provide a copy of that report. Well for the PMs information the GA report is already in the public domain and there is more questions unanswered which is understandable when a reports main or hidden agenda is to hide some truth and sets off from false premise. The GA is an ark of the Australian Government that works Lock step with the mining and gas industry, therefore Independent seismological analysis needs to be carried out before the Prime Minister can make his conclusion.

The constitution of these Independent team needs to include PNG’s own seismologists based at Kokopo and Manam.

Having set up that independent team, the PM need to “guide” it with a Terms of Reference” ie, the parameters within which the investigation is to be carried out. Part of the TOR should include the inspection by the team of Oil Search and Exxon Mobil data.. This is a must for the team because how can induced seismicity be ruled out without detailed independent analysis of on the ground damage and data from Oil Search and Exxon Mobil as to their activities in the 5 years leading up to 24 February 2017.

The team should carryout a detailed independent examination of gas reservoir pressurisation activities and wastewater reinjection activities at Hides.

Independent examination is essential with the help of Harvard University to analyze the earthquake waveform etc in order to confirm the alleged epicentre of the initial quake and subsequent aftershocks which were located very shallow and in close proximity to the Hides gasfield.

The geological and seismological experts must be carefully selected with no conflicts of interest with the gas industry. What guarantee can Exxon Mobil give that future expansion of the gasfield won’t induce seismic damage that could trigger or exacerbate the highly unstable geology of the Hides region? Wouldn’t that be the concern of the Prime Minister????, and SHOULDN’T THAT BE THE ONLY REASON WHY A PRIME MINISTER WOULD WANT AN INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION???

As it is at the moment PM O’Neill is shirking his responsibility. Period!! He is shifting his responsibility to Australia and elsewhere and doesn’t have the people in his heart to do what ONLY Peter O’Neill as Prime Minister can do. That is the setting up of a Commission Of Inquiry. By law, the PM is the only person in PNG (not even Parliament or the GG) mandated to institute a COI, but it appears that Parliament and PNG has been misled by O’Neill to settle for the second best, which is already questionable given Australia’s financial interest through EFIC in the PNGLNG project.

The Prime Minister cannot rely on anyone else but himself to exercise his legal mandate to establish the truth for many reasons, least of all his concern how the future generation (and history) will judge him regarding how he handled this catastrophe during his watch.

A Commission Of Inquiry needs to be set up by PM O’Neill. The COI should be headed by a Judge of the National/Supreme Court (as has been the practice), with a transparent legally approved TOR, (as is supposed to be the case) housed at and organizational/secretarial support provided by the Department of Prime Minister and NEC, Commission of Inquiry Division headed by Director General Mathew Yuwangu (as is their duty).

Without that, the Prime Minister stands Judged, and weighed to be found wanting.

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Resource Owners Welcome PM’s Address

PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill (AAP)

“Their statements are a truthful admission and acknowledgement of the injustices suffered by the landowners of major resource exploitation projects in the country since colonisation”

Post Courier | April 4, 2018

The president of the Resource Owners Federation of PNG Jonathan Paraia has welcomed sentiments expressed by two important persons in the mining and petroleum sectors of the country.

Mr Paraia claimed that Mineral Resources Development Company (MRDC) managing director Augustine Mano and Prime Minister Peter O’Neill have expressed disappointment in the current benefit sharing arrangement between resource-owners, the government and resource developers.

Mr Paraia praised the Prime Minister and Mr Mano for their views on landowners and Papua New Guineans not benefitting enough and participating in the development and extraction of their mineral and petroleum resources.

“Their statements are a truthful admission and acknowledgement of the injustices suffered by the landowners of major resource exploitation projects in the country since colonisation,” Mr Paraia said.

He said the State laws on acquiring ownership of all minerals and petroleum resources held under the surface of the land without paying just compensation to the customary owners is unjust.

Mr Paraia said it was first introduced by the colonial governments and later adopted by the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, even though those laws are in breach of Section 53 (prohibition of unjust deprivation of property) of the Constitution of Papua New Guinea.

He said although a United Nations declaration in 2007 resolved for member governments to remove such unjust laws and restore the ownership of all land and resources acquired by the member States without paying compensation to their traditional owners.

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How the elite profit while a nation suffers their incompetence

Port Moresby, a city where the elite profit while the rest suffer the consequences of their incompetence

PNG Exposed | 19 February 2018

Imagine a company that is in debt, heavily in debt and still racking up more losses.

Imagine a company that in 2016 alone lost over K354 million.

Imagine a company where the total liabilities exceed the total assets by more than K218 million.

Imagine that this is a company set up by the government to manage a nations interests in its abundant mineral resources.

Now imagine no more and say hello to Kumul Minerals Holdings Limited, formerly Petromin PNG Holdings Limited.

The figures above are from Kumul Minerals Holdings latest Annual Return, which is for the 2016 financial year.

How could a company that, according to Statute, is supposed to be the commercial enterprise that participates in mineral exploration, development, production, processing and marketing activities,on behalf of the State be run into near bankruptcy?

But never fear, the Directors, the people responsible for this appalling state of affairs are still profiting handsomely.

While the company was racking up losses of K354 million in 2016 alone its Board members were still taking a handsome pay packet:

Director Remuneration
Brown Bai K 159,759
Ian Goddard K 211,337
Jerry Wemin K 126,227
William Searson K 102,654
Richard Tengdui K 99,809
Issac Lupari K 68,232
Peter Pokawin K 23,959
Arunavu Basu K 182.816
Peter Graham K 59,028
Stanley Lira K 33,129
Richard Kuna K 34,379

 

In total K1,101,329 paid to eleven men [yes, all men, no room here for gender diversity let alone equality] many, if not all of whom, already occupy other well paid jobs.

K1.1 million paid for overseeing losses of over K354 million, losses that were almost three times greater than in the previous year, 2015 (K133 million).

And the excess does not end there. In addition to the Board remuneration, Kumul Minerals Holdings had 10 staff who earned more than K100,000 each in 2016.

One of those staff earned over K920,000, two more over K620,000, another over K450,000 and one over K300,000. Two more earned over K270,000.

In total, Kumul Minerals Holdings paid its staff just under K9 million in 2016 and spent a further K1.5 million on consultancy and professional fees.

Who is ultimately responsible for this negligent mismanagement of our nations mineral wealth, and the looting of an empty pot?

Well it has to be the trustee shareholder does it not, the person who effectively owns the company on behalf of the nation, who is none other than one Peter O’Neill.

It seems our trustee is not doing a very good job!

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O’Neill caught out telling lies over Ok Tedi Mine

Bryan Kramer MP | PNG Blogs | February 09, 2018 

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill was caught lying and misleading Parliament during question time when it resumed its first session in 2018 on Tuesday.

O’Neill was responding to a question raised by the Governor of Western Province, Toboi Yoto asking when his people would benefit from Oktedi Mine and when they would receive the share certificates.

Western Governor explained that since the O’Neill Government took over the mine in September 2013 it had failed to transfer the share certificates representing 33% interest in the mine to the Western Province people. Further, still, they had yet to receive their dividends.

In response, O’Neill claimed when his Government took over the mine from BHP, who at the time wanted to shut down the mine for not being profitable. He said the Government inherited a loss-making machine.

He confirmed his Government has yet to transfer 33% interest to the landowners, claiming it was because of stamp duties issue.

Member for Moresby North-West Sir Mekere Mortaua interjected with a point of order. Mekere a former PNG Sustainable Chairman told O’Neill to stop his incurable lies [about the mine]. There was never any plans to shut down the mine it was not making any loss but investing in further explorations, Sir Mereke said.

O’Neil responded telling Mekere that he was only trying to protect his legacy of providing immunity (protection) to BHP, the mines former developer who destroyed the lives and livelihood of the people through environmental damage.

“It was loss-making machine when we took it over but we had to restructure the mine during the drought and paid off all the employees making a profit,” he said (source post courier article – https://postcourier.com.pg/ok-tedi-issue-heats/)

It was at this point I then interjected asking the Speaker to advise the Prime Minister to stop lying and misleading parliament. As I had in front of me 2012 OkTedi Financial Report confirming the mine was, in fact, making a profit.

O’Neill responded I was a busybody from Madang on social media.

So was O’Neill lying when he claimed the Oktedi Mine was a loss-making machine before he took over it?

O’Neill took over the mine in 2013, so let’s review the mine’s profits four years before and four years after from when he took over it.

  • In 2009 net profit K1.5 Billion
  • In 2010 net profit 2.03 Billion
  • In 2011 net profit K1.2 Billion
  • In 2012 net profit of K913 million
  • In 2013 net profit of K181 million
  • In 2014 net profit of K360 million
  • In 2015 net loss of -K347 million
  • In 2016 net profit of K384 million

This confirms O’Neill was lying and misleading parliament.

What O’Neill failed to disclose that soon after taking over the mine companies he held a direct and indirect interest in where awarded substantial contracts to service the mine.

So perhaps he was referring to his own companies being a loss making machines until he took over the Mine and thereafter they started turning over million Kina profits.

It is not the first time O’Neill has unashamedly lied both on the floor of Parliament and in the public arena.

In the height of 2017 General Elections O’Neill made an announcement while on the campaign trail in Tari that his Government had made the decision to transfer the 4.27% Kroton shares to the PNG LNG landowners.

“Today I am announcing that the national government will transfer 25 per cent of Kroton shares, which is 4.2 percent indirect interest in the PNG LNG project,” he said.

“The shares to be transferred to landowners and provincial governments in Hela, Southern Highlands, Gulf, Western and Central province are valued at K3.5 billion,

“Our Government is providing 25 per cent of Kroton shares to landowners and beneficiary groups that should rightfully be receiving benefits from the PNG LNG project.

“These shares will enable the landowners and communities and the provinces to secure a better future and to be more self-sufficient.

“This Government has made it our business to correct bad decisions from the past, particularly when this relates to land ownership.

“I was not a signatory to the initial Umbrella Benefits Sharing Agreement in 2009, but I have made sure that our government does the right thing by our people today.

“This in the same spirit as the transfer of 17.4 percent of BCL shares to the landowners and people of Bougainville by the national government.”

“It is the same as the transfer of 33 per cent ownership in Ok Tedi” O’Neill said. (source https://www.thenational.com.pg/clans-promised-shares/)

So did O’Neill transfer the 4.27% of Kroton shares in the PNG LNG Project to the landowners? Did he transfer the 33 per cent ownership in the Oktedi mine to Western landowners?

The answer is NO.

Such statements maybe construed as undue influence (criminal offence under Section 102) When a person makes a false statement to induce a voter to vote in a particular way knowing the statement to be false.

This explains why O’Neill is commonly referred to as a Pathological Liar – defined as habitual or compulsive lying.

It is certainly embarrassing knowing such a person occupies the office of Prime Minister where his shrewd conduct and poor character reflects on our Nation of 8 million people.

Following the formation of the Government in August 2017 I asked members of the Opposition who previously served under O’Neill why they abandoned his Government – they responded because he was forever lying, making commitments or promises he would never honor. “We got tired of his lies and left” they said.

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PM: State still holding 33pc shares in Ok Tedi

The National aka The Loggers Times | February 7, 2018

PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill says the Government is still holding onto the 33 per cent share equity in Ok Tedi for the people of Western, plus their dividends.
Western Governor Toboi Awi Yoto had queried in Parliament the non-issuance of the share certificate after the Government had announced in 2016 the transfer of the 33 per cent share equity in Ok Tedi to the people of Western.
Yoto said the people and their leaders had supported the Government in September 2013 in taking over the ownership of Ok Tedi from the PNG Sustainable Development Programme in good faith.
“They have done this hoping that they will receive better benefits from the Government,” he said.
“When will the share certificate be given to the people of Western, and when will we be given our dividends from the 33 per cent share equity? We are aware that OTML declared three dividends payments to shareholders last year.”
O’Neill said the Government took over the ownership of OTML in 2013 and in 2016 transferred 33 per cent of the ownership to the people of Western.
“The transfer was done at no cost through their company Mineral Resource Ok Tedi No 2 Limited and Mineral Resource Star Mountain Limited.”
He said the two companies were to pay their taxation of stamp duty.
“One-third of the dividends declared by OTML is in a trust kept by the Mineral Resource Development Company for the benefit of Western,” he said.
“As soon as the shares are stamped and handed over to the governor, it will come together with the cheque payment for the dividends.”

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