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June 27, 2022
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OTML: O’Neill Tells Courts to Consider Impacts of Decisions Made

Since the Waigani National Court issued orders last Friday, stopping Ok Tedi Mine from dumping waste into the river system, operations at the Ok Tedi Mine have continued as normal.

OTML confirmed today that they are yet to receive the court orders.

 

Simultaneously, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill is in the process of appealing the court’s decision.

 

Prime Minister peter O’Neill who is in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville in a statement said while the court’s decision is respected, the government will exercise its right to appeal in relation to this decision.

 

He says the consequences of this decision could be massive.

 

He said landowners of major project areas must be aware of the consequences of their court actions with regards to the future operation and viability of those projects, not to mention the financial, economic and social consequences it could have on the country as a whole.

 

Mr. O’Neill has blamed lawyers for assisting landowners in pushing for this case adding that the lawyers were the ones who will greatly benefit through the fees they charge.

 

He also called on the courts to appreciate the consequences of the decisions they make.

 

As of today, Ok Tedi Mining Limited confirmed running its normal operations saying that the court orders were yet to be served.

 

In the meantime, the National Court also ordered that the cost of carrying out research and investigations into the environmental and health impacts on the communities living along the river system be catered for through the K45 million held in trust for the people of Western province.

 

This research and investigation is also a directive from the court for plaintiffs to engage environmental scientists to conduct research into the extent of the environment pollution and for health specialists to conduct research into the extent of the environmental impact on the people. He asked them to present a preliminary report within 3 months.

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