PNG Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, told parliament today that the government is at the centre of addressing all mining-related issues.
O’Neill said a formal statement will be released to address grievances by landowners in Hela, and shares in Panguna and Ok Tedi.
“I want to assure the house and our country that one thing is very obvious. We need to look after all our stakeholders. More importantly, the landowners, provincial governments, and of course our citizens and our country. We need to have a greater stake in the industry, and the industry laws today, does not allow us to exercise that option.
“We are looking at this in a very diligent manner. We want to be fair to everybody. Even the investors. Without the investors, some of the large scale mines like Frieda and Wafi cannot be developed. If we take up all the equity, investors will not have any equity to take. But over the course of the next two weeks, I will be making statements in this house, in regards to the shareholding in Ok Tedi and Bougainville, for the first time these two mines are being controlled by Papua New Guineans.
“And of course, in relation to the 4.27 percentage stakeholding by the landowners in the Hela province, and of course, the LNG project.
“I will make a separate statement in this house on it, but Mr Speaker, I want to assure the good member, we will communicate with the industry. The matter was discussed in cabinet this morning, but we have also deferred the discussion till next week, because I want to put a senior ministerial committee to discuss with other stakeholders, some of the concerns. We have to iron out all these concerns before we take this,” O’Neill said.