By SHEILA LASIBORI
MINERAL Resources Development Corp (MRDC) has strategically ventured into the aviation industry by purchasing a 50% stake in Hevi Lift Ltd.
MRDC managing director Augustine Mano said: “To us it’s a milestone in the sense that we are owners and also we have direct control of the company unlike in other companies when we are just shareholders.”
The companies are namely, Petroleum Resources Kutubu (PRK) Ltd which takes an unannounced larger share of the four landowner companies put together in the 50% stake; Petroleum Resources Gobe (PRG) Ltd; Petroleum Resources Moran (PRM) Ltd; and Mineral Resources Star Mountain (MRSM).
Paul Booij, managing director of Regional Aviation Group, of which Hevi Lift is a member, acknowledged the partnership was a strategic one with a company owned by the resource owners themselves.
He was accompanied by his brother Jan during yesterday’s announcement.
“We discussed this at length … it was more on the line that we felt it should go back to the resource industry because after all Hevi Lift was successful because of the resource industry within PNG,” he said, adding it was an exciting time for Hevi Lift, the Booij family and MRDC.
“We think that the opportunity is fantastic here in PNG as far as the resources are concerned,” Mr Booij said.
He said the partnership targeted the oil and minerals sector and that the partnership had promoted MRDC and the companies into the aviation business, a first of its kind for MRDC.
Hevi Lift has existing contracts with Ok Tedi Mining Ltd, Lihir Gold Ltd, Xstrata, and is also involved in ExxonMobil (LNG) contract.
It has also several small contracts including the Porgera Joint Venture (PJV).