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Victoria court sets path for PNG Ok Tedi lawsuit [Australia]

The Supreme Court of Victoria [Australia] yesterday gave Papua New Guinea landowners until January 7 to decide if they would participate in a class action surrounding the controversial Ok Tedi copper mine. The court said the class action should be advertised in PNG newspapers, on radio and at public meetings, with the onus on landowners to opt-out if they do not want to participate in the class action. Landowners won a settlement against Ok Ted Mining Ltd in 1996 for environmental damage caused by tailings from the mine. But they launched a new case in April last year arguing that OTML and BHP Ltd, now BHP Billiton Ltd/Plc had not lived up to promises to find a safer way of disposing of mine tailings.

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