27 Sep 2013

Legal battles loom over PNG government's Ok Tedi move

4:52 am on 27 September 2013

A number of legal battles are expected to be mounted in coming weeks by the Papua New Guinea Sustainable Development Programme and Western Province landowners against the state.

Parliament last week passed legislation enabling the state to take over 100% of the Ok Tedi copper and gold mine.

The legislation means the cancellation of the PNG SDP's 63% share in the lucrative Western Province mine.

Local media is reporting that OK Tedi landowners and local communities are demanding the government return the shares in the mine.

The National Research Institute's Dr Ray Anere says that Sir Mekere Morauta, who was this week removed by the government as SDP chairman, has indicated SDP will take legal action.

"The 162 communities that are impacted or affected by the mine have also indicated that they will also take legal action to challenge the decision of parliament for the state to take over the shares that belong to Western Province people."

Dr Ray Anere of the National Research Institute in Papua New Guinea.