Court Cases halt PNG LNG Royalty Payments

Landowners of the LNG impacted areas in Hela and Southern Highlands in Papua New Guinea  have been told they have close to K1 million in both royalty and equity funds sitting in trust accounts ready to be paid out to them.

However, the hold up is with the landowners themselves, with 22 court injunctions filed by the different landowner groups, as a result halting payments.

Petroleum Minister Kerenga Kua told a meeting of LNG landowners at the Sir John Guise Stadium in Port Moresby this afternoon with the Prime Minister, joined by the Governors of Hela and Southern Highlands.

Mr Kua therefore challenged the landowners to now seriously withdraw the different court cases so the government can start rolling out the money to them as soon as possible.

He says a total of K368 million of royalty is in the Trust Account and another K500 million of equity, which is available for payment however, because of landowner differences and court injunctions sought, it has halted payments.

Mr Kua says only Central Province landowners and recently Kikori in Gulf received their royalty payment because they don’t have any legal issues and are well organized.

He says the Marape Steven Government is ready to pay the landowners but it has only two years remaining before the elections and the formation of a new government, therefore asked the landowners to act quickly and withdraw the court cases so that whilst this government is still in office it will do the payments.

FM 100/ PNG Mining Watch

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