The revised Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for Papua New Guinea’s largest mine, Ok Tedi was signed in June this year.

Mining minister Byron chan and Star Mountain LLG President Borok Pitalok singing the MOA review in Tabubil.

Mining Minister Byron Chan was on hand to officiate at the ceremony which took place in the Ok mining township of Tabubil.

In attendance at this event were other project stakeholders including governor of Western province Roy Biyama, Ok Tedi Mining Limited (OTML) chief executive officer (CEO) Peter Graham and his management team, Mineral Resources Development Company (MRDC) and the landowners.

Hon Chan commended the Governor and people of Western province, for supporting the operation of the Mine during the past difficult times and commended landowner leaders for negotiating and bringing the MOA review process to conclusion.

The minister said out of the eight operating mines, six MOAs have been reviewed, with only three revised MOAs being approved by the National Executive Council (NEC) which includes OK Tedi, Tolokuma, and Simberi projects.

He said MOAs are unique to PNGs mining industry and are essentially benefit sharing agreements. They are provided for under the Mining Act 1992 and are an outcome of negotiations that are initiated through an MOA Review process for operating mines and initiated within the development forum process for new mines that the Minister for Mining convenes for new mining projects that have been permitted for development in PNG.

The negotiation of MOAs for new mining projects or reviews of MOAs for existing mines are coordinated by the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) and supported by the State Solicitor, Departments of Treasury, National Planning and Monitoring, Commerce, Trade & Industry and Labour & Industrial Relations.

They are implemented over a three to five year period following which they are then reviewed and upon approval take effect for the next operating period.

Minister Chan said the main benefits that are negotiated for distribution and management under the MOAs are royalties, special support grants and infrastructure projects within the impact area and generally within the mine area communities and the host provinces. The other benefits include employment and training, business development for mine area communities and the tax credit scheme projects