By MALUM NALU on Sturt Island
Ok Tedi Development Foundation (OTDF) chief executive officer Ian Middleton has commended the 156 villages that currently benefit from the Ok Tedi Community Mine Continuation Agreement (CMCA) for their decision to invest in the K19 million mv Fly Warrior.
|Fly Warrior along the Fly River on Saturday.-Pictures by MALUM NALU|
He said this to hundreds of South Fly villages on Sturt Island, along the banks of the Fly River, on Saturday when delivering the Fly Warrior – bought from their CMCA funds and the third vessel after the arrival of its two sister ships Fly Hope and Fly Explorer last year.
Apart from the three vessels, the CMCA villagers also have two brand-new Twin Otter aircraft, both of which were delivered towards the end of last year.
Saturday’s was the first of two welcomes for the Fly Warrior, the second being at Obo, further up the Fly River yesterday (Sunday).
|South Fly villagers line up the jetty on Sturt Island to board the Fly Warrior.|
“I’m happy because you people of South Fly are happy,” Middleton said on Sturt Island.
“I’m happy to deliver this vessel, your vessel.
“I’m very pleased, happy, and humbled at the effort you people have shown in accepting this vessel.
“It shows that you are willing to accept change.
“You can create change and you can bring about prosperity in South Fly.”
South Fly villagers pack the deck of the Fly Warrior on Sturt Island.
Middleton explained that their CMCA funds were held in trust development funds and trust investment funds, with all villages having a say in how these monies were used.”
“That money is to make investments that go beyond mine life,” he said.
“We have to spend the investment funds as soon as possible so that we can make money for you
“All that money (from investments) goes into your development funds.”
Middleton said in the case of Fly Warrior, the 65m bulk carrier would be on dry hire to Ok Tedi Mining Ltd (OTML), and would be generating a minimum 8% return per annum, and 32% residual, on a capital investment of K19 million.
|Fly Warrior along the Fly River on Saturday.|
“We have secured the vessel on behalf of the CMCA people,” he said.
“It will be on lease to OTML for 15 years.
“The same principle applies to the two other vessels and the planes.
“These investments actually work for your development future.”