Landowners call on Govt to delay equity sharing

The Mine Lease landowners of the Ok Tedi mining in Western Province have called on the Government to put on hold the 33% shares equity until a proper mediation process is completed.

Speaking at a media conference in Port Moresby landowner spokesperson Nick Bunn said the 33% shares belongs to the people of Western and is nothing to do with OTML, OTDF or anybody else.

“Therefore, we would like to decide on the sharing of these 33% independently.”

Bunn said the 33% equity must be shared must be shared by the Western Provincial Government, the three District Development Authorities (DDA), Mine lease villages, CMCA and non-CMCA people.

“The 33% for the mine lease villages must be put on hold until land mediation process is done for the ownership of the mine lease areas.”

He said there is a court proceeding in place for the mediation to be carried out.

He reiterated that there is still no genuine landowners as the land mediation is yet to take place.

Bunn is calling on the government to fund the mediation process and not to entertain any small interest groups with proposals for the sharing of the 33% equity.

“The people would like to see that the Provincial Government, the district Development Authorities and the people are fully consulted and prior informed consents must be given in the sharing of the 33% direct equity for transparency and accountability purposes.”

Bunn added that the direct participation means that we now take ownership of the mine and will work together with the Government to build capacities, in order to sustain the livelihoods of the people Western.

The Government has approved to give 33.3 percent of the Ok Tedi shares to the landowners and 17.4 percent to the landowners of the Panguna in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

Freddy Mou