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Court to decide on Ok Tedi Mine funds, orders

 THE National Court will decide if the interim orders on Ok Tedi Mining Ltd funds for Western people and other orders concerning the mine will be dissolved.
Justice Derek Hartshorn heard applications on Monday by the lawyer representing nine plaintiffs, Allan Baniyami, and the lawyer representing Mineral Resource Authority and the state, Allan Mana.
Baniyami said the interim orders of 2014 obtained by the plaintiffs, including Pastor Steven Bagari, should be extended until determination of the court on the substantive matter or further orders from the court.
The orders were obtained on the grounds that the community mine continuation agreement (CMCA) was unenforceable, dumping of the mine waste into the river was unlawful and that the deeds and trust accounts were invalid and certain trust funds were payable to the plaintiffs and others. Furthermore, mine operation to be stopped until a proper waste dam was built.
Baniyami said the plaintiffs were beneficiaries of the mine under the agreement (CMCA) and were affected by the mine tailings and they had an arguable case.
He said the development funds should be locked up.
Mana argued that the plaintiffs’ case was based on misconception.
“The plaintiffs seek to nullify all the grants not relevant to them,” Mana said.
“The grants are public money for the people managed by a different regime.
“They are from South Fly, who live 100km away from the mine.”
Mana said the dumping of the waste was lawful and the people were compensated for the damage through the agreements.
Hartshorn reserved to the ruling to an indefinite date.
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