The National, Tuesday August 6th, 2013
By JEFFREY ELAPA
THE opposition is concerned about the imminent takeover of the Ok Tedi mine (OTML) by the Government, according to spokesman Tobias Kulang.
The takeover was announced by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill in Tabubil, Western, last week.
Kulang said the opposition had suggested that OTML be allowed to continue under its current arrangement, which was delivering for the state and stakeholders.
He said OTML had been performing well and the state must ensure it did not destroy it through ill-conceived decisions.
Kulang said the welfare of the people, workforce and the substantial amount of support to the state through dividends and taxes were all hanging in the balance.
“This is a highly successful mining company with an outstanding track record of operating excellence,” he said.
“As a result, the mine has posted very good profit over a sustained number of years and has paid handsome dividends to its shareholders, including the state and the people of Western.
“The company’s success story can be attributed to its very professional and independent board, and the very professional and motivated workforce who enjoy a well-structured and competitive benefit stream.
“The imminent takeover of the mine by the state poses a huge threat as it will politicise the board and management as it always does with all state-owned enterprises and other state interests,” Kulang said