Subtribe claims Ok Tedi

National, Normal

The National, Friday November 8th, 2013


THE Kimka Sepiyan sub-tribe of the Star Mountains, of Western, wants the government to recognise it as legitimate landowners of the mine pit area of the giant Ok Tedi mine.

 Ok Tedi Mining Ltd has been ordered by the Kiunga provincial land court to pay mine pit royalties, backdated to July 2004, to the Kimka Sepiyans.

The decision was handed down on Sept 20 after a court battle that has been going on since 2006. But the Kimka Sepiyans are now waiting for its implementation following the ongoing saga between the Papua New Guinea Sustainable Development Program Ltd and the national government.

“We want the government to recognise that we are the real landowners of the mine pit,” chairman David Allolim said yesterday.

The sequence of events started in 2006 when the Kiunga local land court ordered that OTML pay the Kimka Sepiyans 95% of royalties paid out every month while a Biul Kirokim would receive 5%.

Following these orders, there have been several court proceedings, including appeals lodged by OTML and Kirokim at the Waigani provincial land court, leading up to the Sept 20 decision upholding the decisions of 2006.

Allolim welcomed the national government taking full ownership of OTML and called for recognition of the Kimka Sepiyans.

“Kimka Sepiyan sub-tribe land group is a true principal landowner of the Ok Tedi mine pit at Mt Fubilan.”