MAC: Mines and Communities

Ok Tedi pays compensation to Papua New Guinea villagers

Published by MAC on 2011-12-27
Source: The National (PNG) (2011-12-20)

And it's not for the first time

OK Tedi Mining Ltd has, once again, had to pay compensation for continuing to pollute the environment at its operations in Papua New Guinea. See: Miner pays K1.01b

Grotesquely, the company has also been given an award by the government for "its contribution to PNG's development and its compliance with the country's laws", as well as being a "Good Corporate Citizen"!

Ok Tedi pays K1m compo to WP villagers

The National (PNG)

20 December 2011

OK Tedi Mining Ltd last week paid out more than K1 million in compensation to communities in Western province affected by a pyrite concentrate pipeline spillage early this year.

The compensation was paid to three community groups along the Tabubil-Kiunga Highway and the Ok Mart River following the joint signing of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) with OTML and witnessed by the national government.

The impacted highway villages were Bumbin, Tapko, Hosanai, Awin Tamaro, Hosokumgu, Dande and Ipoknai.

The river villages were Seapire, Surine, Nenegire, Supenai, Miahore, Sonai and Romnai.

OTML community relations manager Yaru Pohei thanked the villagers for their understanding and commitment to the negotiation process and said the agreement was a win-win for the villages and OTML.

"The compensation is for the potential impact on the environment and the inconvenience caused by the ruptures to four sections of the pyrite concentrate pipeline and spillage of pyrite concentrate into the surroundings which occurred in 2011 on May 5 at Km90, Mau11 at Km80, May 14 at Km87 and May 17 at Km84," Pohei said.

"Inclusive in the total payment are payments for direct damages to gardens and economic crops," he added.

"The final compensation package offered to the communities by OTML was based on the outcomes of the independent assessment investigations which stated that the spill at the four sites did cause some impact which were limited to the vicinity of the spills.

"The independent assessment investigations also reached similar conclusions to OTML's environmental impact assessment," Pohei said.

Community leader of Hosanai village Michael Gen thanked OTML for its swift response to the spillages especially in the clean up and its handling of the negotiation process.

"I would like to thank OTML for its quick response to the spillages in May and for involving all parties including the Fly River provincial government to facilitate the negotiations and make sure it was conducted transparently," Gen said.

It was also agreed that an awareness programme be conducted at all the villages along the Tabubil-Kiunga Highway on the pipeline replacement project, including the risks associated with placing the pipe next to the current copper concentrate pipeline.

The communities also agreed not to disrupt the pipeline replacement project which would begin next February.

The pipeline, commissioned in 2008, transported pyrite concentrates 128km from the tailings processing plant at the mill, along the Tabubil-Kiunga highway and then to Bige where it is stored under water in storage pits.

Currently, the pipeline was not in operation and wastes from the mine's milling facilities were being stored in pits constructed in the mine area.

Immediately after the pipeline ruptures, OTML suspended its production for nearly five weeks and responded with an extensive clean up and monitoring programme


State gives OTML award

The National (PNG)

20 December 2011

THE national government has recognised Ok Tedi Mining Ltd (OTML) for its contribution to PNG's development and its compliance with the country's laws.

Twenty other companies were given the same recognition during the launch of the inaugural Good Corporate Citizenship Award last week.

The Department of Labour and Industrial Relations yesterday refused to release the names of the other companies.

Award co-ordinator Pais Lahari said he was unable to contact his boss George Vaso to obtain permission to release the names of award winners along with OTML.

In a statement yesterday, OTML said the award it received from DLIR was for the company's commitment to:

OTML human resources manager Harold Duigu commenting on the award said: "It is a great achievement for OTML to be recognised for its contribution to the country particularly in the area of people development, and its integrity in its relations with the Government and the community.

"For an organisation to be granted the award, it has to satisfy the DLIR of its commitment to the provision of employment and training and development of national workers, its compliance with the Employment of Non-citizens Act 2007 and other laws, and that it practises sound employment, industrial relations and occupational health and safety," Duigu said.

Duigu added that with OTML's formal recognition as a Good Corporate Citizen, it would enjoy priority processing of its work permit applications and it had the option to apply for five-year work permits instead of the current three-year duration.

Last year, the mine contributed over K2.1 billion to the PNG economy through taxes, dividends and royalties. It employs over 2,100 employees, of which 95% were nationals.

Over the last 30 years, the mine had contributed over K23 billion to the PNG economy and over K500 million to the mine area landowners in royalty, lease and compensation payments.

OTML is a fully-owned Papua New Guinea mining company by interests after the exit of Canada-based Inmet Mining Corp as a shareholder this year.

The PNG Sustainable Development Programme Ltd now held 63.4% and the state of PNG held the remaining 36.6% of interests in OTML.


Government award for Ok Tedi outrageous

Statement from the Bismarck Ramu Group

23 December 2011

It's an outrage, a sick pitiful, shameful, embarrassing move by the PNG government. We have hit a low spot in our country. The government has given an award to the company which has created the one of the worst environmental disasters in the world -right here in our country. And what is that award for - get this - "for its contribution to PNG's development" (we're not making this up folks) and there's more - "and it's compliance with the country's laws." (huh?)

At first you think someone is playing a very sick joke on us, then you suddenly realize this actually occurred. Have we as a country no shame? Obviously not - we really don't care about the environmental damage - we don't care about our children, their children and future generations. After all the mine contributed K2.1 billion to the PNG economy last year (so they say) and that's much more important than a stupid river. It's worth killing a river for. Oh and they didn't mention how much BHP took out of the country before they ditched the mine and did a runner.

The government also went on to proudly say the mine employs 2,100 people - 95% PNGeans. This in a country of 7 million. We don't understand. If we had a government who cared we'd be employing people in agriculture - something our people have been doing for over 10,000 years. And it would be a hell of a lot more than 2,100 people being employed.But no - we choose to kill a river, bugger up the environment and let the company make heaps of profits - while giving us what? - a mere pittance of what they made and a devastated environment which includes dead rivers.

While touting the employment of 2,100 people they conveniently forget to mention the 50,000 people along the rivers that have been effected by the dumping of NINETY MILLION tonnes of waste per year. What are we doing? Has it really come to this? This is a nightmare - but no one cares - not really. This is how the world works they say - so what.

And so the PNG Department of Labour and Industrial Relations "awarded" OTML the - get ready - the Good Corporate Citizenship Award. Can you believe this? Come on in - make your obscene profits, kill our rivers, destroy our people - its' okay - look at the money - ah the money. That's what it gets down to -doesn't it? And the sad thing is this is the problem with the whole world. We have lost our sense of who we are, what matters. It's all about the money.

The earth, as our tambunas knew was our mother. They understood the relationship we had with the earth. They knew we were part of it. I think of sitting with my bubus as a young chld and hearing stories of time before. I reflect back on those times often these days. I reflect because I feel shamed and sad. I wonder - I really do - if our tambunas will ever forgive us for what we are doing to the land. I wonder also if future generations will ever forgive us - or if they should - for what we are blindly and selfishly doing.

Our mother is being pillaged and raped and what do we do? Give awards to the rapists.

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