Prime Minister Peter O’Neil spoke on a number of issues related tothe resource sector.
Fromthe 3 Kumul entities to OK Tedi.
The government has said OK Tedi mine will transfer tPNG by January next year whenthe current lease arrangement expires in December this year.
Mr O’Neill’s argument is that initiallythe OK tedi deal did not benefitthe western people and it was also been an environmental disaster tothe fly river.
“…first of January 2014, a new lease will be issued, and we are going to issue that lease to a company that is reflective… ofthe ownership for the people of Papua New Guinea At presentthe sustainable arrangement is not reflecting true ownership and benefits to Papua New Guineas- that is why we are doing it… atthe same time this is just a cover-up, a huge cover-up that has been structured legally and endorsed by our parliament many years back to dismissthe environmental damage that was done alongthe Fly River…” Mr. Peter O’Neill said during his interview on Resource PNG.
Politically that sits well. The industry however sounded out caution, also appearing on Resource PNG last night.
Dr. Temu said taking over a project afterthe end of its lease can send a wrong signal to ther resource investors.
“My advise tothPM :ould be that usingthe mining lease to change what happens in OK Tedi is not advisable because it’sends a message out tothe industry that says 'if your mining lease expires, this is whatthe government could do. So I thinkthere needs to be alot of caution in going down that road.” Dr. Illa TemuPNG CoMP
Singapore based companPNG Sustainable Development Program owns 63.4% of OK Tedi.
The balance of 36.6% is held bythe Western Provincial and PNg Governments