Mineral Resources Start Mountains Limited (MRMS) Board of Directors on Monday presented K19.4 million-dividend payment to the 12-landowning villages of Ok Tedi.

Juha Pipeline Los to receive project benefits

MRDC & Mineral Resources Start Mountains Limited (MRSM) Board today presented K19.4 million-dividend payment to the 12-landowning villages of Ok Tedi.

This payment is by far the biggest dividend payment made by MRSM. This is part of the dividend proceeds from MRSM’s 9 per cent equity in the Ok Tedi Mine Limited (OTML) for 2020.

Under the Revised Benefit Sharing Agreement decision of 22 May 2021, the disbursement of this K19.4 million was distributed as cash payments the 12 Ok Tedi Landowning villages. These villages include the six mine villages of Aremkit, Kavorabip, Finalbin, Bultem, Wangbin and Migalsim; the four villages from the Lease for Mining Purpose area – Kumkit, Ok Tedi Tau, Ankit and Noiksikwi and; the two additional villages of Korkit and Kawengtikin.

The event was held at Migalsim village and witnessed by the communities of the various mine villages and representatives from key stakeholders including the Governor for Western Province, Hon. Taboi Awi Yoto, OK Tedi Mine and MRDC.

Speaking during the event, Chief Operating Officer for MRDC, John Tuaim was pleased that the MRSM Board was able to deliver a dividend to the beneficiaries of MRSM. “This is a milestone dividend payment for MRSM to its communities and I am pleased with the MRSM board for its strong leadership and for delivering this payment which rightfully belongs to the 12 villages,” said Tuaim.

“MRDC will continue to work with the board of MRSM to improve the quality of life for the MRSM beneficiaries through prudent management of project benefits and investments,” Tuaim added.

Chairman of MRSM David Kaiankim said, “this is the largest dividend payment that the 12 villages of Ok Tedi has received to date from their equity in the Ok Tedi Mine and I’m so happy to present these monies to them.”

“This is a result of the good business decisions, strong leadership and the support that MRSM continues to receive from MRDC – who are our trust fund managers.”

Kaiankim also commended MRDC “for understanding the aspirations and development priorities of the beneficiaries and working with MRSM to realize these priorities.

“A large portion of MRSM’s income comes from revenue from the Ok Tedi Mine and 2020 was a challenging year for all business including Ok Tedi due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kaiankim.

“I want to acknowledge the OTML management for its decisiveness to rethink and adjust their business to mitigate the impact created by the pandemic which saw that the mine remained operational and continued to contribute to the national purse and dividends to its shareholders.

“A total of K49.5 million was received by MRSM from OTML as dividend in December 2020. Of this, 60 per cent was retained for investments and education while 40 per cent was today distributed as dividend payments to the 12 villages. MRSM holds in trust a 9 per cent equity interest in OTML on behalf of the 12 Ok Tedi landowning villages and this company is managed by the MRDC under a trust agreement.

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