Ok Tedi legal bid falters

A LEGAL bid to prevent the Papua New Guinean government from seizing Ok Tedi Mine has been thrown out of court.
Ok Tedi legal bid falters Ok Tedi legal bid falters Ok Tedi legal bid falters Ok Tedi legal bid falters Ok Tedi legal bid falters

Papua New Guinea Sustainable Development Program had submitted a court application to prevent the state from touching its assets, including profits.

PNGSDP had also sought an injunction against Ok Tedi's new board but the request was denied by the court on the basis that the trust is no longer a shareholder.

Local media reports said the state and Ok Tedi Mining Limited were two respondents in a case heard by National Court Judge Catherine Davani.

PNGSDP had reportedly sought an order restraining OTML from declaring or paying any dividends from the mine's 2012 calendar year, paying out funds on the mine life extension program and dealing with assets or shares of the company, which is worth K8.5 billion.

Islands Business reported that PNGSDP had also petitioned the court regarding unfair conduct after it was denied representation on the OTML board.

Local media reports said Justice Davani upheld the state and OTML's submission that PNGSDP was not a shareholder of OTML on the basis of evidence that showed it wasn't listed in the share register.

Davani said bills passed last month in Parliament ensured the state was in control and dismissed all other motions.

A 63.4% shareholding had been held by PNGSDP, a trust which was established when BHP Billiton agreed its exit from the mine.

Last month the government seized 100% ownership of Ok Tedi mine and repealed laws that would allow people to sue mining giant BHP Billiton over environmental damage.

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