29 Oct 2013

PNGSDP begins legal action against PNG Govt following takeover

9:46 am on 29 October 2013

The Papua New Guinea's Sustainable Development Programme is to take international legal action against the PNG government.

The board of the Programme was sacked in the wake of the government's takeover of Ok Tedi mine.

The chairman of Programme, Sir Mekere Morauta, has announced the company has begun international legal action to protect itself from unlawful attacks by the PNG Government.

In September, PNGSDP, which is a Singapore-incorporated company, had its 63.4 percent shareholding in Ok Tedi Mining Ltd expropriated by an act of the PNG parliament.

The company's shareholding in the Ok Tedi mine provides the income stream for its development programme.

The state has not paid, or proposed to pay, any compensation to the company for taking its property.

Sir Mekere says he has written to Prime Minister Peter O'Neill informing him of its decision to seek international arbitration.

The request for arbitration was formally filed with the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes in Washington D.C. on the 10th of this month.

PNGSDP is seeking to have its shares in Ok Tedi Mining Ltd reinstated, and failing that, for compensation to be paid to PNGSDP.

Sir Mekere says the company is especially mindful of the need to protect the 1.4 billion US dollar of assets in its Long Term Fund from misuse, abuse and misappropriation.