26 Nov 2005

Australian firm running Ok Tedi mine in PNG urged to revise exit terms

8:26 am on 26 November 2005

The Australian mining company, BHP Billiton, has been urged to revise the terms of its exit from the Ok Tedi mine in Papua New Guinea.

The company has just held the Australian leg of its annual general meetings in Perth, after a year in which its net income of US$6.4 billion amounted to the highest corporate profits in Australian history.

The New South Wales-based Mineral Policy Institute says the company has broken promises made to shareholders in 2001 that they would ensure the Ok Tedi mine would be well managed after their exit.

It says predictions of acid rock drainage along the Ok Tedi and Fly River systems are likely to exacerbate food and water shortages in downstream communities.

The institute says a meeting of community representatives this month confirmed that communities did not consent to the terms of the company's exit from the mine, contrary to the firm's claims.