MAC/20: Mines and Communities

OTML passes damage blame onto Government

Published by MAC on 2007-07-02

OTML passes damage blame onto Government

PNG Postcourier

2nd July 2007

Western Province based copper mining company, OK Tedi Mining Limited (OTML), has shrugged off fuming concerns that it will not be responsible for any environmental damages after the mine's closure in 2013.

Departing managing director Keith Faulkner while responding to questions posed by the media last Friday, fazed out any responsibilities the mining company would incur for environmental damages after the mine closes.

Mr Faulkner said it was the National Government - particularly current Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare who was mining minister in 2001 - who agreed under the Mine Supplementary Plan to continue operation until 2013.

Former operator of the mine, BHP Billiton quit operating the mine in 2001 and decided to close it but according to Mr Faulkner, it was the Government that was too worried about losing economic balances.

"It was the idea of the Government to continue the mine's operation because it (the government) felt that it will undergo an economic devastation if this mine closed," he said.

"The legislation was the thing of the government. We know what has been given to us by Sir Michael."

He added that the mining company and its management will not deny that there are environmental damages and river contaminations.

"We (OTML) will not deny the fact that there is environmental damages and contaminations but we know what we have been given and we'll stand by those facts," Mr Faulkner said.

 

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