MRDC chief remains

THE managing director of state-owned Mineral Resources Development Company, which oversees many landowner companies involved in Papua New Guinea’s mining and petroleum industries, may consider legal action after Deputy Prime Minister Belden Namah made a failed attempt to suspend him.
MRDC chief remains MRDC chief remains MRDC chief remains MRDC chief remains MRDC chief remains

MRDC MD and chief executive officer Augustine Mano was suspended to allow the national government to start corruption investigations, according to a press conference Namah held with local media on Wednesday.

Yet on his return from Australia yesterday, Prime Minister Peter O'Neill - whose position, unlike Namah's, holds executive-level powers over MRDC - overturned the decision made by his deputy.

"As trustee shareholder, the management and board of MRDC remains, until an investigation into the financial affairs of the organisation by the attorney-general is completed," O'Neill said, according to The National.

"Until that investigation adduces credible evidence, it is premature and unfair to destabilise the management. In any case, you cannot blame only one person for decisions that have been taken by the entire board and management."

Mano only learnt of his so-called suspension through the media.

He is reportedly considering a defamation suit against Namah, who also criticised his leadership of MRDC.

At least one landowners' association levelled corruption claims against MRDC, which triggered the government investigation.

Landowner companies under MRDC's management include Mineral Resources Ok Tedi No.2, Mineral Resources Ramu, Mineral Resources Madang, Mineral Resources Enga and Mineral Resources Star Mountains.

MRDC also manages landowner companies with stakes in the Kutubu, Gobe and Moran oil fields.

  • Porgera: Barrick-PNG talks go on - Read more
  • Follow the companies investing in the PNG market - Read more