State Verse Sir Mekere Over PNGSDP Share

The fight over the 64 % PNGSDP shares derived from the Ok Tedi Gold Mine between Chairman Sir Mekere Morauta and the National Government, has now off shore to Singapore.


The PNGSDP Directors and Sir Mekere will not back off easily and allow government to grasp the 63.4% shares in PNGSDP.

A special closed door meeting was held today, but no further comments have been made as yet.


The Prime Minister made the announcement yesterday, following the failure by the Eminent Persons Group appointed to mediate and find a resolution on the differences between the National Government and the PNG Sustainable Development Program, on the structure and operations of PNGSDP.


Sir Rabbie Namaliu, Sir Puka Temu and Bart Philemon were members of the group.

The Prime Minister reported that the Eminent Persons Group comprising Sir Rabbie Namaliu, Sir Puka Temu, and Bart Philemon could not arrive at a resolution, despite the time and dedication they gave to the task.


The NEC appointed them to negotiate a better deal for all parties.

Today, EMTV News contacted Sir Puka, who refused to comment on their failed efforts.


However, he only said that they will abide by the Prime Minister’s call.

Sir Mekere Morauta on the other hand, still claims he is the chairman of PNGSDP, his board of directors and PNGSDP have a valid standing in this fight.


Following Mr O’Neill’s announcement yesterday, Sir Mekere, his directors and legal team attended a closed meeting this morning to discuss their next plan of action.

EMTV News is following up closely on this meeting.


Early this year, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes or ICSID has accepted and registered PNG Sustainable Development Program Limited's request for international arbitration, over the expropriation without compensation of the company's 63.4 % shareholding in Ok Tedi Mine in the Western Province.


The arbitration hearing is separate to all other litigation relating to the expropriation of the mine, including the latest National Court action.


The chairman of PNGSDP, Sir Mekere Morauta said PNGSDP is seeking restitution of the 63.4% of OTML expropriated by the State, or failing that, compensation for the shares.


The National Executive Council has now authorised the Attorney General to engage a leading Singapore law firm, Wong and Partners.

It is understood that they will represent the State to fight this case with the PNGSDP instigated in Singapore.


ICSID is an international institution set up under the International Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States.


It facilitates arbitration proceedings allowing independent tribunals to decide cases under its rules, and all contracting member states to enforce and uphold arbitral awards in accordance with the Convention.


PNG became a signatory to the Convention with the passing of the Investment Disputes Convention Act in 1978.


One hundred countries are signatories.


International arbitration by ICSID is available to PNGSDP under Section 39 of the Investment Promotion Act.


Sir Mekere Morauta, said PNGSDP is seeking compensation of the 63.4 % of OTML and will not rest till justice is served.


This compensation also includes the 50 plus employees laid off last year, when the state expropriated the shares through the 10th Supplemental Agreement Act without compensation.

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