Landowners from the giant Ok Tedi Mine now own a 33% stake in the mine’s operation, becoming the first landowners to own a larger than mandated equity share in any resource project in Papua New Guinea.

Managing Director of MRDC Group of Companies Augustine Mano congratulates an Ok Tedi landowner during the MOA signing.

The MOA outlines how benefits from the equity interests will be distributed and applied. The MOA was finalised after over two years of negotiations between the landowners, the Fly River Provincial Government and the State. Parties present at the signing on Saturday, 21 January included Chief Secretary to Government, Isaac Lupari, the Core Group leaders and delegate representatives from the mine area villages, from the CMCA regions, Mineral Resource Development Company (MRDC), and Mineral Resource Star Mountain (MRSM), Mineral Resources

Ok Tedi No. 2, Ok Tedi Mining Limited (OTML), and the State representative from Mineral Resources Authority (MRA). Representatives of women and children’s groups also participated in the entire process and were represented at the signing.

The share distribution of the 33% equity sees CMCA group owning 12%, the mine area villages owns 9% whilst the Fly River Provincial Government (FRPG) will own 12%. FRPG’s share is further shared between three districts (North Fly, Middle Fly and South Fly).

The percentage breakup was agreed upon by all parties through a Share Distribution Agreement in July 2015.

The MOA also stipulates that 40% of the benefits from the respective shares will be paid in cash to landowners while the other 40% will go towards investment purposes and 20% towards infrastructure development programs and projects.

MRDC will manage the landowners’ 33% interest. Chief Secretary to Government and MRDC Chairman Isaac Lupari assured the landowners that the MRDC will ensure that their money is looked after well.

MRDC Managing Director Augustine Mano echoed the same sentiments, thanking the landowners for their confidence in MRDC.

He admitted the responsibility is a huge ask, but reassured landowners that the MRDC will do its best.

“We will do our best. We will not let you down,” Mano told landowners.

Meanwhile, the other parties to the agreement being the State and the Fly River Provincial Government will sign at a later date.