Minister yet to access audit report

Minister for Mining Johnson Tuke has yet to receive the audit report of projects funded through Western Province’s Non-Community Mine Continuation Agreement Trust Account.

Western Governor Taboi Awi Yoto asked the Minister when the report will be tabled because he needed to access the funds for development projects in the province.

“I understand there is moratorium on the trust account and a legal case. But I believe also that the report is ready so when will it be tabled? And how soon can I access the funds for development purposes?” Governor Yoto asked in Parliament last week.

There are two trust accounts from the proceeds of the Ok Tedi Mine; the Trust account for the Community Mine Continuation Agreement or CMCA, and the Trust account for the Non-CMCA.

Minister Tuke said the CMCA trust account is kept by Ok Tedi Mining Limited, with twelve projects identified.

“The non-CMCA trust account is under the Ministry. Projects endorsed as per the Deeds is one hundred and forty eight. I am not sure if the projects captured have been implemented, that’s why the former government authorised the audit. The audit report is done. A balance of that account will be given to the province.”

Minister Tuke explained that in 2016, an NEC decision was made to give this money to Mineral Resources Development Company.

“The (Western Province) PEC sent a letter to authorise the (Non-CMCA) money remain with the Ministry. As and when NEC rescinds the decision, I will act accordingly as per the Deeds.”

The Minister said once he gets hold of the audit report, he will table it to refer it to an independent body, in this case the Ombudsman Commission, for vetting and tabling in parliament.

(Tabubil mine filepic)

Salome Vincent