Ok Tedi mine The Ok Tedi mine in PNG
The Faustian Contract between BHP and PNG
After killing one of the world’s most important rivers and subjecting hundreds of thousands of Western Province peoples to continuing environmental impacts, BHP Billiton pledged to give back its shares in a form of penance. But with the cynicism of an older, colonial age, they never did this, and instead kept control of those ‘development’ funds for their own ends. They never left Ok Tedi. The biggest con in PNG history has been effected by BHP.
See http://ramumine.wordpress.com/2013/09/23/the-faustian-contract-between-bhp-and-png/.
The remarkable story of the nationalization of PNG’s largest mine and its second largest development partner, all in one day
The PNG Sustainable Development Program (SDP) was set up after BHP’s exit from the Ok Tedi mine in PNG’s Western Province just over a decade ago. Essentially, BHP wanted to shut down the mine, which had caused great environmental damage and become a reputational risk to the company. The PNG Government, however, wanted the mine to continue because it needed the tax revenue. BHP agreed to give away its ownership of the mine in return for a guarantee that it would not be sued for environmental damage. BHP did not want to gift its shares in Ok Tedi to the PNG Government because of well-established concerns about corruption and limited capacity within the PNG public sector. The compromise reached was an agreement that PNG would give its shares to a new trust fund, SDP, which would be registered in Singapore as a public company to be run by a board of directors, some nominated by BHP, the others nominated by a variety of PNG institutions. SDP was established in 2002. After a third shareholder exited, SDP was left with 63% of Ok Tedi’s shares. The remaining 37% were held by the Government.
See http://devpolicy.org/ok-tedi-sdp-20130924/.