Villagers threaten Govt

National, Normal

The National, Friday October 18th, 2013

 WESTERN people from the Community Mine Continuation Agreement (CMCA) and mine villages want the National Government to respond to their petition on the Ok Tedi mine.

The 162 CMCA and mine villages, representing 110,677 people, are demanding that the Government return the 63.4% shareholding in Ok Tedi Mining Ltd (OTML), which the State took away from the PNG Sustainable Development Program last month.

Spokesman Richard Zumoi, flanked by CMCA and mine village representatives, said if they did not receive a positive response, they would meet in Kiunga next Wednesday and shut down the mine, with the backing of OTML Workers’ Union.

He said they would first travel to Daru to meet with South Fly villagers and then proceed to Kiunga.

“This is our last call to the Prime Minister and the Government of Papua New Guinea,” Zumoi said.

“If they do nothing, we go back, Wednesday we have a meeting with the other leaders and we will talk to the workers’ union.

“We are shutting down the mine. Definitely.”

They want:

  • The return of 63.4% shareholding in OTML;
  • that all dividends from the 63.4% shareholding be paid directly to CMCA and mine villages;
  • that no payment and use of the 2012 and 2013 dividends by any person or body other than the CMCA and mine village communities;
  • an immediate halt to all dealings in the 63.4% shareholding pending outcome of meeting with Peter O’Neill; and,
  • The restoration of beneficial rights and the right to decide not to approve the continuation of mining, if in their view environmental compensation is deemed inadequate, and does not meet their expectations of a fair value for environmental damage.

In the interim, the villagers demanded the immediate transfer of 2.5% shareholding plus any other outstanding commitments of the 2006/2007 CMCA review outcomes, separate from the 63.4%, as granted to them by National Executive Council.