“the relatively meagre assistance allocated to the village communities they have displaced is quite frankly shameful”
Frankiy Kapin | Post Courier | May 31, 2018
A company owned by mine site landowners of Bulolo district in Morobe province has accused the highly lucrative extractive industry of PNG of giving very little while enjoying the generous tax concessions offered by the government.
General manager of NKW Holdings Limited David Stewart said the extractive industry enjoys generous tax concessions, yet it is providing very minimal benefits to local communities.
The NKW is the umbrella company of the three Hidden Valley mine landowner investment companies of Nauti Investment Ltd, Kwembu Investment Ltd and Winima Investment Ltd in Wau, Bulolo district of Morobe province.
NKW owns almost K90 million in assets and employs approximately 17 expatriates and 500 national staff.
In the last six months, NKW has paid in excess of K40 million as goods and services tax (GST) on every kina spend.
“It is fair to say whilst there is considerable press devoted to the economic benefits of large mine operations and the small community programs they initiate, the relatively meagre assistance allocated to the village communities they have displaced is quite frankly shameful.
“At less than two per cent of revenue is hardly an equitable distribution of benefits,” Mr Stewart said.
He said evidence suggests that benefits to local communities that own the mine lands are minimized or watered down over time.
He said the constitutional landowners in PNG bear the cost of having the mines on their land but revenues will generally revert to the national government.
Mr Stewart said the NKW recognises that the mine has a finite life and generally do not develop the communities that own the land.
“If it was genuinely otherwise; the education and health standards in affected communities would be considerably higher. To quote a former Australian Prime Minister, “the streets should be paved with gold,” he said.
He said if they don’t develop sustainable businesses that will continue after the mine closure as the landowner group then they will have failed their duty.
As part of the company’s sustainable diversification program, NKW Fresh was established in 2014.