People have power to stop mine ops: MP


WESTERN Governor Toboi Awi Yoto says the Ok Tedi mine operates on a social licence and the power to terminate its operation rests with the people in the impacted areas.
Yoto said this during the signing of an agreement between the mine and the China Railway Construction Engineering Group Co Ltd for the upgrading and sealing of the Tabubil-Kiunga road.
A review of the licence will be in 2025.
“If the people are not happy, then we will go with what they decide,” Yoto said.
“For the past 35 years, they have sacrificed their land for the greater good of the economy of PNG and Western province.”
Yoto said the people of Western and OTML were now working together unlike in the past.
“There have been times that the people wanted go against OTML. But eventually there were some agreements developed which allowed the mine to continue.
“We now have Papua New Guineans working in that mine.
“I’m proud of the nationals working very hard to produce money for us.
“In 2019, they gave K200 million for the country which has increased.
“I would like to thank the staff and their families living in Tabubil and working.”