By MALUM NALU
Ok Tedi mine life extension talks have been affacted by the absence of key government agencies and the Fly River provincial government (FRPG), The National reports.
External observer Dr Beno Boeha is particularly disappointed because Ok Tedi Mining Ltd (OTML) contributes millions of kina every year to national and Western province coffers.
|Boeha…disappointed at absence of government at mine life talks|
After attending the Middle Fly, Suki-Fly-Gogo and Kiwaba regional meetings over the last three weeks, Boeha was concerned about non-attendance of FRPG and certain central agencies of government like Attorney General, Treasury and Finance, Environment and Conservation, and National Planning and Monitoring.
“The government, as a shareholder with 36.6% shareholding in OTML must attend to contribute to the process of consultation with the communities affected by the mine,” he said yesterday (Tuesday).
“Financially, OTML’s contributions to the national and provincial government budget are enormous, as from 2000 to 2011 OTML paid K9.4 billion to national government and K1.3 billion to FRPG in dividends and taxes, a total of K10.7 billion.
“At the same time, the mine landowners were paid K574 million and other impacted communities received K833 million.
“OTML is a significant contributor to the economy of this country and the Western province and it is important for the government, as a shareholder, to participate in the consultation process.
“The concern is also shared by the regional leaders.”
This week, community consultation on mine life extension meetings will be held simultaneously with members of the Dudi region and lower Ok Tedi.
The purpose of the mine life extension (MLE) community consultation process, which began in 2009, is to enable community leaders from the nine regions to make an informed decision on whether the mine should extend beyond 2015 or close.