Three years (3) ago, three landowner companies; Petroleum Resources Kutubu (PRK) Limited, Mineral Resources Star Mountain (MRSM) Limited and Mineral Resources Ok Tedi (MROT) Limited came together and made a commitment to bring to life a concept of transforming the old man’s fireplace into a modern and luxurious architecture that promotes and celebrates his culture and traditions.


Bringing to life this project was a challenge as the companies and the partners were hit by the global economic crash. The price of oil dropped from over US$100 a barrel to less than US$40 and to make matters worse, the giant Ok Tedi Mine came to an indefinite stop. The future looked bleak. Fortunately, the fire was still burning in the old man’s fireplace fuelled by the shareholders’ undivided support.

At this point, failure was not an option and Mineral Resources Development Company would not let the fire die out. As the custodians of tomorrow, the MRDC made sure to keep the fire burning for many generations to come.

Speaking at the official opening of the hotel, MRDC Managing Director Mr. Augustine Mano said that it was the alliance between landowner companies, great partnership with BSP and the Government of PNG that enabled the completion of the project.

“This achievement would not have been possible without the contribution of these institutions and people,” he said. He also thanked MROT, especially its former Governor Dr Bob Danaya who made the initial investment as well as MRSM and the Directors for their commitment and dedication in the project during the shutdown of the Ok Tedi Mine.

Western Province Governor Hon. Taboi Awi Yoto who sits on the board of MROT said that a project like this is only possible through strong, visionary and active partnership of provincial government and landowner companies, which creates a lasting legacy for people and the children of Western, Southern Highlands and Gulf Provinces. Mr. Mano also extended his gratitude toward PRK.

“My greatest gratitude goes to the directors of PRK for their stubborn commitment to the project demonstrated by taking up 45% ownership of SMPL. “he said.

Furthermore, MRDC extended his, appreciation to the Hilton Group for their confidence in the landowners and for making PNG their 107th operating country thus putting PNG on the world map. Hilton is a prestigious brand that will lift the profile of PNG particularly its huge tourism potential.

A spark was needed first to start the fire for the future generation, and that spark was the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2018 (APEC). APEC triggered development and growth as you see in the Capital City and it also triggered investments such as the hotel.

“I would like to thank the State with the visionary leadership of our Hon. Prime Minister Peter O’Neill for hosting APEC. The contribution for APEC enabled us to build the facilities to host the gala dinner for CEO’s on the 16th and the world economic leaders on the 18th November 2018. If it weren’t for APEC, such world facilities would not have been possible,” Mr Mano said.

The Star Mountain Plaza is a multi-staged development. The 16 story Hilton Hotel consists of 212 rooms, 46 suites, two penthouses, executive club floor and three world class restaurants. Moreover, two 4 story building, a spacious 3900 square meter Kutubu Convention Centre and a car park building that can cater up to 441 vehicles to complete stage one (1) of the project.

This construction employed over 1000 people, majority of whom were locals, in which transferrable skills were taught and imparted by the foreign help.

Meanwhile the second stage of the project has begun which includes an 18-storey building comprising of 160 apartments and a 5-storey retail and commercial space that will house some of the most prestigious world brands. Stages 1 and 2 takes up a total investment of around K1.35 billion.

The Star Mountain Plaza will be Port Moresby’s most secure, convenient and modern center for hospitality, business, shopping, retail, fine dining and entertainment making it an international landmark for corporate and economic accessibility.As we welcome development and modernization, this project is a reminder to the country and the people that we must not forget who we are and where we come from.

“The beauty and the pride of this world class facility can be vividly expressed as one senior statesman once told me; The voice of the people is in the parliament, but the soul of the people is expressed by the songs, dances, languages and designs,”Mr. Mano said.

In this fast and ever-changing world, driven by modernization and technology, the old man’s fireplace must be kept lit.