Prime Minister Peter O’Neill saidthe government is now in direct discussions with Nautilus Minerals to sort out unresolved issues.
He madethe comments last week, when asked by EMTV’s Resource PNG program, what arrangementsthe government was making with Nautilus, following arbitration proceedings in Australia.
Mr. O’Neill saidthere were issues withthe arbitration itself as two parties are needed to agree to go into arbitration inthe first place. “The State has never agreed for that. One employee ofthe State made that decision by himself. There’s no NEC decision,there’s no approval fromthe government that we have a dispute so we will go into arbitration.” he said.
He saidthe decision made bythe tribunal in Australia is now being reviewed. Mr. O’Neill said thatthe decision was biased, and feels thatthe State can discuss directly with Nautilus to overcomethe issues.
A few months ago, Nautilus gave a presentation of its operations at a media briefing following a series of negative publicity. They pointed out that no chemicals will be used inthe extraction process. The deposits will be piped up and undergo a dewatering process. And after filtering, processed clean water will be piped back tothe sea floor.
Bet Mr. O’Neill maintains thatthe issues of environmental impactocapacity to deliver, and equipment to be used need to be examined. He went on to say, “Our aim is to reduce our participation in that particular project. That project is unprovern. It has never been done anywhere inthe world.”
He saidthere are legal issues surroundingthe K118million awarded, whichthe lawyers are now looking at. He saidthe State feels it is not liable for such damage, andthe government is not prepared to pay for it yetountil a constructive dialogue with Nautilus.
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