Parties to the K92 mining project Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) have agreed in principle, to maintain the existing arrangements on the main break-up of royalties from the mine.
The parties are the Bilimoia Interim landowners Association (BILA – Mining Lease Landowners) 60%, the Eastern Highlands Provincial Government (EHPG) 30% and the Associated Landowners (AL) 10%. This was the break up last agreed in 2003 when the mine was operated by Highlands Kainantu Limited.
This progressive agreement was reached last week in Lae where the parties met to review the MoA.
The parties will have to agree on how to internally re-distribute their shares of the royalties amongst the various groups that make up their associations and structures.
As the way forward, the parties will meet again next month. However, in the meantime, all parties have been tasked to iron out various issues identified during the review including re-distribution of royalties by the EHPG, BILA and ALs with their internal stakeholders.
After the meeting next month, it is expected that a final MoA document will be drafted and be submitted to the Office of the State Solicitor for legal clearance. Once the draft is cleared, it will be submitted to the National Executive Council (NEC) for deliberations and approval. After approval by the NEC, the MoA will be ready for implementation which will mean parties will have to honour the commitments they made during the review process.
In all MoAs, pursuant to the Mining Act 1992, the State commits to pay royalties to various parties at 2% of Free On Board.
The Mineral Resources Authority has applauded all parties to the MOA for their maturity, understanding and respect during the negotiations. Acting Managing Director Nathan Mosusu said the leaders of the parties especially the people of Kainantu have done well.
Photo caption: Part of the landowner group that participated in the negotiation recently.