Ok Tedi Mining Limited, is ready to pay Community Mine Continuation Agreement (CMCA) payments.
It also maintained today, that recent comments by PNG Sustainable Development Program Chairman, Sir Mekere Morauta, that the payments could not be processed by PNG Microfinance Limited, were inaccurate.
In a statement late this afternoon, OTML clarified that earlier this year, PML had advised that it would no longer be facilitating this year’s CMCA cash payments to its 9,489 CMCA customers, since it was not able to meet the cost of delivering cash payments to communities.
In a public notice on June 11, 2014, PML advised its customers that if they wished to maintain their accounts with PML, they would need to pay a 6 percent fee.
Based on information received from PML, OTML conducted extensive communication patrols in May and June to inform the CMCA communities that had family bank accounts, with PML, to open new family accounts with a commercial bank of their choice, in order to receive their cash payments.
CMCA customers in North, Middle, and South Flyregions, had new family accounts opened to receive their payments. In all, 4,064 were opened with Bank South Pacific (BSP), following joint awareness patrols organised by OTML in August.
The CMCA family cash payments, totalling close to 20 million kina per year, are paid to over 18,000 family bank accounts in the fourth quarter of each year, in accordance with agreements signed with CMCA communities.