MRDC investigates MRSM

By Tony Stone

Mineral Resources Development Company (MRDC) has begun investigations into allegations of corruption by the management of its subsidiary Mineral Resources Star Mountains (MRSM).

banner2MRDC’s action was in response to a PNG Echo story exposing alleged financial mismanagement of MRSM companies which include Fubilan Catering Service (FCS), the Tabubil caterer that provides meals for the now 100% state-owned Ok Tedi Mining Limited.

CEO MDRC, Augustine Mano
CEO MDRC, Augustine Mano

MRDC Managing Director, Augustine Mano, replied to PNG Echo’s allegations in an email, this week:

We have taken the allegations (raised by PNG Echo) seriously and are taking appropriate action to address the issues. We have engaged KPMG to audit FCS accounts and (are) also doing our own investigations..

CEO Mano added that the task would be a challenge for MRDC who could only act within its jurisdiction.

Audits

Mr Mano’s assurances notwithstanding, it is the information of PNG Echo that auditing of MRSM accounts is habitually late.

Paul Povey , Chairman of MRSM Group of Companies
Paul Povey , Chairman of MRSM Group of Companies

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Solwara 1: a done deal?

deep-sea-mining-protest-595x334Will the decision on whether this project will go ahead be for the greater good of the majority (those that have a real stake in the outcome) or will it only serve to enrich a disinterested and privileged minority far removed from the project’s impact and consequences?

By Tony Stone

Minister For Mining - Hon Byron Chan
Minister for Mining

Minister for Mining, Hon Byron Chan, recently declared in Parliament that the “government is still deliberating” on Solwara 1.

Confusingly, his words contradict his actions.

For, despite the negative public reaction to Nautilus Minerals’ Solwara 1 project, the Minister and his father, Sir Julius Chan, Governor of New Ireland, are conducting themselves in ways that compromise their respective offices – ways that call into question their judgement as regulators and State leaders.

Largesse

It’s all about perception.

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Ok Tedi Landowner company rorted: Mangi Mining with Tony Stone:

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.  Lord Acton

O'Neill taks control of Ok Tedi
O’Neill takes control of Ok Tedi

As Peter O’Neill seeks to gain absolute power and control over revenues from Ok Tedi Mining Limited (OTML), another power hungry man, Paul Anthony Povey, rises to fame and fortune through mismanagement and corruption of the mine’s umbrella landowner company, Fubilan Catering Services (FCS).

The power monopoly was established on the arrival of the new incumbent to the job of CEO of Ok Tedi, Alan Breen, in 2007, when he removed the reputable international caterer, Eurest South Pacific, as managers of FCS and appointed a single person, Paul Povey as Manager.

Paul Povey
Paul Povey

Observers attribute the start of Povey’s rise to fame, fortune and power to the very close personal relationship he established with Breen between 2007 and 2010.

With this appointment, Povey gained control over the company’s management, it’s finances and overwhelming influence over the ill-educated, ill-informed and ignorant local directors who represent the shareholders in the investment company Star Mountain whose investment (FCS) Povey was managing.

 Favours for friends and living the high life

Despite criticism from the OTML community, Breen, compromising the integrity of the office of the Managing Director, pursued the relationship with Povey to the point of using his position to influence decisions in Povey’s favour.

Twin Otter Aircraft at Tabubil Airport
Twin Otter Aircraft at Tabubil Airport

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