Papua New Guinea to sue Aussie mining giant BHP

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Papua New Guinea’s government says it will sue Australian mining giant BHP Billiton for alleged environmental damage in the Western Province.

The Australian company was operating the country’s largest copper mine in the 1990s.

“We have to sue this company for the substantial environmental damage they have caused to our people,” he said.

In 2004, a massive lawsuit representing thousands of PNG landowners was dropped after a settlement was reached, which included compensation, said ABC.

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PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill announced this in Parliament he will establish a commission of inquiry into the OK Tedi issue.

The inquiry will look into the environment damage and the establishment of the PNG Sustainable Development Program will be set up.

“Papua New Guineans deserve to know the truth, not just colouring of the truth so that it suits somebody’s interest, they deserve to know the truth and that’s why I have decided to establish a commission of inquiry,” he said.

Mr O’Neill said he would get an independent person, possibly an Australian judge, to carry out the investigation.

He also said the State had also engaged the biggest environmental law firm in Australia, Slater and Gordon, to review the case that was done by Rex Dagi so that the PNG Government itself takes out the court case against BHP.

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