Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea: Prime Minister Hon. James Marape today (03.08.23) gave a gleaming report on Minerals Resources Development Company (MRDC) while describing it “very much the success story (Great) Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare wanted it to be”. 

PM Marape was tabling the financial accounts of the company in Parliament when he revealed that the company, founded by the late founding father in May 1975, has grown its investment portfolio over the years to K7 billion in 2022.

The Prime Minister also revealed that, for the first time in its 47-year history, the MRDC’s financial records were all in order. 

“Sir Michael initially intended for the company to conduct explorations for mineral reserves in PNG. It was a noble intention by him as the nation’s vast mineral, and oil and gas potential, was already known to the world. 

“Today, 48 years after its inception, MRDC is very much the success story (Great) Grand Chief Sir Michael wanted it to be.

“The MRDC Group’s total investment portfolio has grown in value in the last 16 years. From K395 million recorded in 2006, the Group’s investment portfolio has grown to K7 billion in 2022.

“In December last year, I received from the MRDC Board the audited financial statement for MRDC for the year 2019. The audit was carried out by the Auditor-General of PNG in conjunction with the internationally-recognised firm, Deloitte. 

“For the first time in the company’s 47-year history, the audit opinion was clean and unqualified, meaning the accounts and records were properly stated, and there were no misstatements. 

“This is a major achievement for MRDC in terms of its adherence to compliance and governance requirements, and I commend MRDC management under the leadership of Managing-Director, Mr Augustine Mano for a job well done,” said PM Marape. 

MRDC’s portfolio of assets is well diversified, with investment in banking (BSP), airline (PNG Air and Hevilift), hotel and hospitality (Hilton Hotel), healthcare (Pacific International Hospital), real estate and commercial office space (Pacific Property Trust), power generation (Dirio Gas & Power Ltd), among others. 

The company and its investment subsidiaries continue to employ thousands of Papua New Guineans and, since 2019, has paid in excess of K100 million in taxes to the government. 

“Two months ago, MRDC’s biggest subsidiary Petroleum Resources Kutubu and Internal Revenue Commission completed a legacy tax liability issue amounting to K120 million. I want to commend MRDC and PRK to reaching an amicable resolution with IRC, and clearing those liabilities owed to the State,” stated PM Marape. 

The Prime Minister also revealed that through its Community Infrastructure Development Program, MRDC has improved availability and access to vital services among communities in the project footprint areas, including schools, aid posts, water supply and the like, spending a total of K50 million over the last 10 years.