PUKPUKS HUMBLED A WIGMAN TO SURRENDER POGERA
by JAMES TEMO
Anthony Smare Country Director of Barrick Gold in PNG has been a beneficiary and close family friend of Somare family for many years. Close friends and associates close to the two men confirm their very close relationship going back many years.
It is no wonder Anthony Smare engaged Arthur Somare to start the negotiations with the Land Owners of Pogera when the lease expired last year. Somare was paid as a Barrick Lobbyist or the go between Barrick and the Government to ease tensions and allow for Barrick to keep the status-quo and run the mine without reviewing the licensing agreements. This has has not gone down well with Landowners who wanted to know why Arthur Somare was involved in yet another screwed up negotiations, remember Arthur screwed up the LNG project nearly selling out PNG.
Firstly, Arthur mortgaged the State’s existing 18% shares in Oil Search Limited (OSL) to borrow heavily from Dubai based Arab financiers to finance the State’s equity in PNG LNG.
Arthur personally, in one man meetings with the Exxon team, negotiated with Exxon through the ever-ready facilitation of Peter Graham, the PNG LNG Agreement, which we all have to live with today. Arthur had advisors such as Kua and his law firm advising on the laws, and Petrusio Capital (Dairi Vele, Lars Mortensen, and Nathan Chang) in the background running the numbers.
The important thing to note here is that Arthur has no formal qualifications (except moon lighting at DWU for a diploma in some esoteric subject handed to him because he had the Somare surname), nor any work experience in the real world. He relied heavily on Kua.
Anthony Smare he is very close to Arthur Somare and therefore he will never say no to Arthur. In turn Arthur has a noose over Marape who recently stated publicly his love and devotion to GC Somare openly and in couple of instances balling his eyes out during GC Somare's funeral.
Prime Minister Marape feels he owes his political career to Somare so when Arthur and Anthony Smare put Barrick's interest to Marape he was happy to comply. So whether Pogera, Enga resource owners gained or not a very insecure Prime MInister James Marape was happy to repay his debt of gratitude to Arthur. That is the true essence of recent BNL and PNG Government agreement. "