30 Sep 2013

PNG govt orders probes into SDP and BHP exit from Ok Tedi

8:43 pm on 30 September 2013

Papua New Guinea's government has ordered two major investigations into the exit of BHP from the Ok Tedi mine and the establishment of PNG Sustainable Development Programme Limited.

The Prime Minister has announced that the first investigation will review the manner in which BHP was given indemnity over environmental damage from the mine as part of its exiting Ok Tedi Mining Limited.

The Post Courier reports that Peter O'Neill indicated that the second probe would look at major spending by the PNG SDP since its establishment.

The anti-corruption team, Taskforce Sweep, is being asked to investigate alleged misuse of funds by the management and board of SDP.

Mr O'Neill says there remain questions over the role of the former Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta in negotiating the establishment of BHP's indemnity which parliament removed two weeks ago.

Sir Mekere, who has strongly criticised the state takeover of SDP shares in Ok Tedi this month, was removed as SDP chairman by the government last week.