Monthly Archives: November 2013

MCC’s Jennifer Gaori lies to cover the Bigger lie

Arnold Jameson

A rather interesting debate erupted on the social network Facebook, after my story titled ‘Ramu Nico’s extreme promotion of Chromite lies’ got published on the PNG MineWatch blog and the link got spread around.

Below is a good example of what happened to someone’s wall when the link to this story was posted. It picked up a debate, interestingly with MCC’s Jennifer Gaori (aka Zenna Gaori on facebook), who wasted no time to defend the Chinese over her own country men and women’s lives as stated by one of the others who commented.

Jennifer, did a very bad job when she ‘confidently’ told the person who posted the link to not depend on Google to know how poisonous the Chromite Class 6 POISON is, but rather to trust the information the Chinese have her put together in an attempt to lie to the people of Basamuk, Kumbrukari and Madang as a whole.

Off course we all know how stupid that is but poor Jennifer/Zenna (at her-that level) doesn’t realize she has been and is being used along with many other Papua New Guineans like Lima Mullung, the Basamuk Landowner Association’s chairman.

Below is the exchange, for now we’ll call the person who posted ‘PWP’, as in the ‘Person Who Posted’ because our focus is more on Jennifer aka Zenna-Environment Officer/Health Safety and Environment Management Department/Ramu NiCo Management (MCC) Limited.

Enjoy!

Posted November 20 at 1:54pm · chromium 6 – this shit is soo bad it killed thousands of people in chromite mines in countries like india & africa. It is a proven carcinogen for cancer and MCC is going to mine it here in PNG and they paid ‘Wantok Niuspepa’ to print all this rubbish bout it being safe! Wheres frigin DEC? Can some authorized png govt dept responsible take some proactive measures to investigate this?? Cancer is rising in PNG and here we are literally asking for more! dang.

  • Zenna Gaori people need more awareness into this. NGOs have to get their facts right before airing out. @environmentdeskrnml November 20 at 3:30pm

PWP Google it up. don’t hurry up to diss NGO’s who actually do their background research. ud be surprised and I presume you’ve read ur employers EIA on chromite mining & handling? states a’ possible leakage of chromium 6′. shudnt we be worried? November 20 at 3:49pm

  • Zenna Gaori you and your NGO need an awareness on this topic. BRG was chased off at Basamuk by landowners a few months back regarding the very topic. you only do your desktop google and think you have facts but you don’t. please feel free to come by at our office November 20 at 4:31pm

PWP  hey now,i wud come by your office if I was in madang. trust me. but I did read the EIA report of chromite mining and handling (done by MCC consultants) and they admitted a leakage of this deadly stuff. cud u gurantee the people of Madang its safety? why is MCC going to all the trouble to ship chromite if there isn’t going to be any danger? people will be wearing face mask, escorted by guard dog security, only travel at night time during the transportation of chromite? aren’t those precautions abit too dramatic if u say its safe? oh and btw, those LO’s who chased BRG away as u say are prolly ones fighting to get a chunk from the ‘benefits’ from the chromite and nothing to do with BRG and what it stands for.

  • Zenna Gaori i have alot to tell you about chromite. i can email you an awareness doc if you want this is so as to make you understand more. alot of awareness has already been conducted in madang n media, if only you attended then you wont be posting this November 20 at 10:32pm ·

PWP plis email me by all means.. M really interested. i see u still havent answered my question bout how safe you think it is to what ur EIA report states. November 20 at 11:16pm

  • Zenna Gaori i will email all the answers November 21 at 6:35am 

PWP Looking forward to it.November 21 at 6:49am

PWP hehehehe…sure. its your bread & butter. November 21 at 11:15am

  • Zenna Gaori ofcourse November 21 at 12:04pm
  • Zenna Gaori i wrote a brief during lunch hour as part of awareness. check your email November 21 at 2:50pm

ALERT! She ‘WROTE’ IT HERSELF during lunch hour!

  • Zenna Gaori it may sound too good to be true, well afterall its the company’s obligation as a developer to impacted landowners. November 21 at 4:37pm
  • Trangu Man Zenna Gaori……I’m sorry to say that you’re NOT smart at all! The least you can do is defend the Chinese over your own country men, but you did! SHAME! You boast about being in that small confined office ‘belonging to those Chinese’. Google is where everybody is and not just the Chinese to push their propaganda using puppets on strings…I mean people like you. Chromite Definition on Google is more reliable than chromite information in your, actually their office because after all, its all LIES again put together to fool people, and you obviously. What saddens me is that you believe and don’t realize you’re one of the FOOLS being USED, and is standing up for them (the very panic stricken Chinese) because of that lousy package you get and nothing more, maybe more ( …. … … …… ) only you know. One day you’ll realize they’ve taken all and packed up and last, and you? Left behind obviously, and you won’t even be on their minds, even right from this second…unless….well then only you would know. You are not smart at all. You are one of the FOOLS, maybe bigger because of your plain ignorance November 22 at 4:27pm
  • Zenna Gaori trangu man, you sound emotional and narrow minded. i am not at your level and am not putting myself in that position. so say all you want. November 22 at 5:08pm
  • Trangu Man Zenna Gaori, yes you are not at my level i know you are so low and so so so cheap as those cheap chinese at mcc and so desperate like them to see development, YOU SOUNDED EMMOTIONAL AND IN FACT YOU WERE UPSET AT THE FIRST PLACE THATS WHY YOU COMMENTED…November 23 at 1:37pm
  • Zenna Gaori trangu man, don’t want to communicate with idiots like you. you don’t know anything about mining or ramu nico, you only heard rumors about the company and think all you know are truths, you heard lies so keep your comments to yourself November 23 at 3:48pm
  • Ted Soaremai Ha.ha.ha.ha, sorry couldn’t help stopping over. Zenna Gaori, was going to address you as Mrs but. What lies are you referring to haha? Everything is with hard evidence etc, did you just wake up after a thousand years Sleeping beauty? You’re thinking money over the child in your profile picture? You are the lie ZG. A 110% Papua New Guinean FAKE. Hi Fiona and all my Papua New Guinean Brothers and Sisters! Blood is thicker than water. November 23 at 9:32pm
  • Zenna Gaori sorry ted am not to sure what you’re talking about. i was only commenting to trangu man. this post is on Cr6+. as PR and awareness I connected to get some infor to Fiona in reply to her post.
    November 24 at 10:56am
  • Zenna Gaori you and trangu man switched to a very different topic. and yes, that’s my son on the profile and he has nothing to do with this. talk on the topic and do not side track. you both do not know how to debate professionally. speak your mind on the topic. November 24 at 11:01am
  • Zenna Gaori if you both know fiona, ask her to send the email i sent regard chromite, hexavalent chromium Cr6+, and the project operation. in that way you dont argue out of the blue or rumors but facts November 24 at 11:04am
  • Ted Soaremai This is professional debate Zenna. Tell me which part is not, outlined specifically please. And nah I don’t think I would waste time or Fiona’s and you shouldn’t too in sending that piece of crap around on the email as it was put together by them, using you again. I’d rather rely on Google, that shit’s poison. By the way, all this has everything to do with the child on your profile, he/she’s the future. But if you still don’t understand where all us PNG brothers and sisters trying to tell you, as you stated above, then you’re from another planet or simply, from that level —– of plain stupidity. Please take a sip and gulp of some Chromium Cr6+ and publish it in the newspapers for all to see please November 24 at 2:53pm
  • PWP Ted, if ur interested,i can always send u the email.its MCC’s version for awareness purposes. Apparently the Chinese are shipping this chromite stuff soley for the LO’s benefit.MCC will make no profit whatsoever from the chromite but they figure the LO’s cud benefit from transporting it thus the whole issue.whats strange though is Ive never heard of chinese free handouts till nw. Why go to all the trouble if u wont be making any profit. Why ship chromite over if its valueless.i googled November 24 at 7:14pm
  • Ted Soaremai Hahaha-Yes please do. I could use some insights into their lies. I wouldn’t mind getting it from you. Good team work FS. Email’s jaykuggwie@gmail.com 17 hours ago
  • Ted Soaremai On another note, why don’t you copy and paste it on your wall and we’ll share it around 17 hours ago
  • Zenna Gaori since yous have a both side information now, see the difference between chromite and hexavalent chromium? now keep your comments to yourselves and learn to review two sided infor before you speak your mind  am out. 15 hours ago
  • Ted Soaremai Oh no you’re not out Zenna, you are so on! 22 minutes ago
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Filed under Environmental impact, Papua New Guinea

Marengo Agrees to Refinancing With Its Major Shareholder

marengo-agrees-to-refinancing-with-its-major-shareholder

Marengo Mining | Junior Mining Network

Marengo Mining Limited is pleased to announce that the Company has agreed to a refinancing transaction with its major shareholder, Sentient Executive GP IV, Limited for the General Partner of Sentient Global Resources Fund IV, L.P. (collectively, “Sentient”). The refinancing ensures, among other things, financial support for the Company’s operations through 2014.

Pursuant to the terms of a loan conversion and debenture exchange agreement, Sentient will: (i) convert the unsecured interest-bearing debt facility in the aggregate principal amount of US$10,000,000, dated February 6, 2013, as amended, due on December 31, 2013, along with interest of US$323,293 thereon, into new debentures of the Company (the “New Debentures”); (ii) exchange its aggregate principal amount of US$17,048,480 debentures (the “Sentient Outstanding Debentures”) issued in satisfaction of principal, interest and fees, pursuant to the debenture purchase agreement, dated as of May 27, 2013 for New Debentures; and (iii) provide a letter of support to the Company, confirming, among other things, that Sentient will ensure the Company has sufficient funds to maintain solvency for a period of 12 months from the date of the signing of the Company’s consolidated financial statements and entity accounts for the period ending December 31 2013 (the “Transaction”).

The aggregate principal amount of US$27,371,773 of New Debentures will bear interest from and including the date of issuance at the rate of 9% per annum, payable in equal semi-annual instalments in arrears on April 30 and October 30 in each year and will mature on June 30, 2016. Each US$1,000 face value New Debenture will be convertible, at the option of Sentient, into approximately 50,000 common shares or Chess Depositary Interests (“CDIs”) of the Company at a conversion price of CDN$0.02 per common share or CDI. The conversion price of the New Debentures will be adjusted in the event there is a reorganisation of capital or an issue of new common shares below the conversion price. The New Debentures will be jointly issued by the Company and Yandera Mining Company Limited and Marengo Mining (PNG) Limited (both wholly owned subsidiaries of the Company) and will be guaranteed by Marengo Mining (Australia) Limited and Yandera Mining Company (Holdings) Pty Limited (both wholly owned subsidiaries of the Company).

Sentient and its related entities currently hold 21.97% of the common shares of the Company and would hold approximately 65.26% of the common shares of the Company, assuming the conversion of all the New Debentures issued in connection with the refinancing (including the New Debentures issued to pay interest payments on the New Debentures).

Prior to agreeing to the Transaction, the Board of Directors of the Company engaged in a thorough process of reviewing the Company’s alternatives and, among other things, received a fairness and valuation opinion in relation to the Transaction from GMP Securities L.P.

The Transaction is subject to approval of the shareholders of Marengo and the Toronto Stock Exchange (“TSX”). The Company is currently preparing a notice of meeting to seek shareholder approval for the issue of the New Debentures and expects to send this to shareholders as soon as practicable.

Assuming they fulfil certain conditions precedent, including receipt of shareholder and TSX approvals, Sentient and Marengo plan to complete the issuance of the New Debentures on or about December 31, 2013.

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Filed under Exploration, Financial returns, Mine construction, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands

Nautilus exploration due soon: Togolo

The National | PACNEWS

Nautilus Minerals, the Canadian deep-sea mining company, will start sea floor mining exploration in the waters of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands soon.

Company country manager Mel Togolo disclosed this recently to the Madang provincial government.

Exploration activities are expected to be completed in December.

Nautilus has licences around Bismarck Sea and the Woodlark areas and parts of the Solomon Islands.

The operation will explore for deposits and will do “target testing” using remote operated vehicle (ROV) to test for metal content.

The company’s exploration vessel mv Fugro Solstic was due to call at Madang port yesterday.

Company manager for environment Dr Samantha Smith said the vessel was 70m long and had the capacity to carry 51 people at one time including 33 crew members.

The vessel was fitted with latest technology required for such a big operation, she said.

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Filed under Exploration, Papua New Guinea

Canadian police carry out investigation in Bougainville

Alex Munme | New Dawn

A team of four Canadian Police Investigators are in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville to carry out investigations on Canadian Companies operating in Bougainville and to find out if they are operating legally.

Bougainville’s Acting President Albert Punghau told a Press conference in Buka yesterday that these Canadian Investigators were carrying investigations on possible breaches by the Canadian Companies operating in Bougainville under the Canadian Law-the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act 1998 and are here at their own initiative.

Under the Canadian Law Canadian Companies and citizens must not be allowed to use bribery or corruption to get advantage when doing business in developing countries and countries re-building after conflict like Bougainville.

The team of Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigators include; two Police Crime Investigators, one Lawyer and a Police Liaison Officer.

The Acting President while welcoming the team said they will conduct investigations only and whether or not criminal charges will be laid depending on the outcome of their findings.

He said that although it’s a Canadian Law it is intended to help places like Bougainville who do not have the capacity to scrutinize investors trying to come into Bougainville.

Mr. Punghau added that section 15 of the Bougainville Constitution directs full cooperation on similar operations to ensure that Bougainville is not used in any way to support terrorism or money laundering or other trans-national crimes and no people in Bougainville should support or assist terrorism or money laundering or other trans-national crimes.

He said that the Constitution also commits all Bougainvilleans to work to eliminate universal problems in Bougainville including corruption.

He called on the ABG and Bougainvilleans particularly Bougainville Administration Officials, current and former ABG Ministers to cooperate during the investigations.

Meanwhile, the Acting Chief Administrator, Chris Siriosi, while sharing the same sentiments, said that the Bougainville Administration has been directed to cooperate in full with the team.

He said that Bougainville’s mineral resources were one of its main sources of wealth and it is wrong for foreigners to try to get access to that wealth unfairly by corrupt practices. He said the focus of the investigation is whether that has occurred here.

Mr. Siriosi said the investigation is based Canadian own interest and initiative and is not the result of any complaint by the ABG.

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Filed under Corruption, Papua New Guinea

Mine Watch and PNGexposed wrong says AusAID advisor to Bougainville

Yesterday we published Part 1 of a debate between Australian National University researcher, Anthony Regan, and University of Ulster Lecturer, Kristian Lasslett. Today we publishPart 2, where Regan takes aim at two prominent PNG blogs – PNGexposed and PNG Mine Watch. 

Regan is currently legal advisor to the Autonomous Bougainville Government, paid for by AusAID. Regan is overseeing the drafting of legislation that will see Rio Tinto return to the island as early as next year. Parts of this legislation has been heavily criticized by landowners and commentators, including this blog, as has the money Regan earns in his AusAID role.

In the extract below, featured on Facebook’s Bougainville Forum, Regan responds to his critics, and Lasslett provides a response.

PNG Mine Watch & PNGExposed Oppose Democracy, Regan Claims

AusAID man, Anthony Regan

AusAID man, Anthony Regan

“Friends, I’m in Bougainville now, working with the ABG. This is the first time I’ve been able to connect since Sunday. I don’t have much time, as we are very busy. So I’ll not even try to comment on the various interesting points different people have been making. But I do note, briefly that a couple of comments seem to be based on misunderstandings about the kind of work I do.”

“I should therefore clarify: As a lawyer, I work for the ABG. I act on the instructions of the ABG. I do what the ABG asks me to do. Of course, like any lawyer, I am also often asked to advise on particular issues, but that is usually restricted to legal issues. But because the Peace Agreement is the basis for complicated constitutional arrangements, where there is a lot of room for interpretation – and argument – and as a result very often a great deal of negotiation needed. The things I have been working on this year have been, as always, many and varied. They have included a role in development of the draft Bougainville Mining Law – work that I have been doing with Bougainvillean lawyers, officers of the Bougainville Mining Department and many others. The draft Mining Act is still the subject of awareness and consultation.”

“In much of the comment on it there’s been many quite serious misunderstandings – so much so that sometimes it looks like people commenting have not read or understood it. While some commenting on PNG Mine Watch and on PNG Exposed blogs have attacked what President Momis has said about it involving a radical new approach (or words to that effect),”

“I disagree with them. The ABG is really trying to give a great deal of protection to landowners. For example, the current draft provides that customary owners of minerals will have a right of veto over exploration licences. Those critics attack the idea of landowners being represented in decision-making by democratically established associations of landowners. Perhaps there might be better ways of ensuring landowners have valid spokespersons, but the ABG is not yet aware of them.”

“The Administration is trying very hard to do this properly. Another important aspect of the draft law which no-one comments on is the fact that it aims to legalise almost all the small-scale mining that under PNG law is now illegal – for at present the only legal small scale mining is alluvial mining by a citizen on his or her own land, but only if its in or within 30m metres of a river bed (wet or dry). Mining on anyone else’s land is illegal, as is mining with any kind of machinery.”

“So the draft Act makes it legal to mine on any land of your own (river bed or not, machinery or not) and on anyone else’s land with agreement of the landowners, provided its on land less than 0.5 hectares. (And by the way, in relation to the research grant I’m involved in to study illegal mining, because of this push – in which I’ve been heavily involved – to ensure almost all small-scale mining is legal, the title of the project has been changed to ‘Small-scale and illegal mining’. The project is in no way directed to trying to shut down small-scale mining – rather the opposite. The main aim with small-scale is to get a better understanding of the needs and problems of the people doing that kind of mining, particularly because its become such an important industry in Bougainville, with many, many people relying on it for their main income.”

“And while on the subject, the implication – intended or not – of some comments on that research project has been that somehow the money for that project comes direct as income to me and my co-researcher. That is absolutely untrue – research grants of this kind can only be spent on the approved research budget, and accountability for the expenditure is very tight indeed.)”

“But I also need to emphasise that the work I do for the ABG does not involve only mining related work. In fact, that’s a fairly new area for me. This year, for example, I’ve also been involved in much other work. That’s included work (together with many other officers) on aspects of development of a separate Bougainville public service (including issues on both the draft Bougainville Public Service Act and the Bougainville Public Finance Management Act. A major area of work has been on funding for the ABG from the National Government, including issues about calculation of some of the grants to the ABG. These are just some of the examples, amongst many. But I realise that what was going to be a brief post has got long. And I need to get back to some work in relation to the draft Bougainville Public Service Act.”

Lasslett Responds

Kristian Lasslett

Kristian Lasslett

“Anthony just a few points of clarification. I have read the critiques made by PNG Mine Watch and I think your summary perhaps does not quite do their position full justice (in the interests of transparency I should note that I have written on the blog before).”

“For example, you note: “Those critics attack the idea of landowners being represented in decision-making by democratically established associations of landowners”.”

“Quite the opposite in fact. PNG Mine Watch raised concerns that the legislation would empower the Bougainville Executive Council to ordain certain landowner associations as legitimate while marginalising others (http://www.islandsbusiness.com/…/landowner-revolution…/). This has the potential – without adequate safeguards – to lead to politicised decision making where small, unrepresentative landowner bodies who happen to tow the state-corporate line, are given formal recognition, while those democratically elected bodies, more critical of existing policy, are marginalised.”

“Indeed, this almost happened in 1987/88. Francis Ona and Perpetua Serero were democratically elected the Secretary and Chairwoman respectively of the PLA. When it became apparent that the latter two won on an anti-mining platform, BCL refused to recognise the election, which caused all sorts of problems. In this case Joseph Kabui stood firm behind the landowners and their democratic decision. But in the future this may not always be the case. Safeguards are thus possibly needed.”

“Also you criticise PNG Mine Watch for taking issue with the ABG’s controversial press release, which announced the handing back of mineral ownership to customary landowners (http://www.abc.net.au/…/bougainville-mining-law…/4559170). You note the draft legislation “provides that customary owners of minerals will have a right of veto over exploration licences’. What PNG Mine Watch argued was that after this preliminary stage – exploration being the earliest stage of the mining process – ABG are legislatively empowered to overrule landowner decisions.”

“Fair enough perhaps. Governments need to create certainty for investors. On the other hand, overruling landowner wishes can have fairly significant impacts. So clearly there are important issues here, in need of debate.”

“If you could possibly upload the current draft legislation, on this forum, that might help generate more informed views (assuming, of course, it is a public document). Its important to remember the PNG Mine Watch critique related to a previous version of the mine legislation, I believe as a result of landowner concerns it has now gone through two redrafts.”

“On the other hand it is good to hear about the AusAID small mining project you are working on. The problem with large-scale mines seems to be that communities become spectators to the destruction of their environment, as profits are largely distributed overseas, or consumed irresponsibly by governments. Small-scale mining provides a community-centred method for earning income, with less radical environmental consequences. Though the latter seems to be the challenge, ensuring communities are assisted to do alluvial mining so their own health, and the environment’s health is not a risk. I wish you the best of luck on this important endeavour.”

“On the funding front, I think the criticisms have been largely limited to the advisory fees paid by AusAID to foreign advisors. For example, in addition to fixed daily travel rates, advisors working on law/mining can earn K2,500 per day (http://aid.dfat.gov.au/…/adviser-remuneration-framework…); given local salaries, these significant amounts, on occasions, rightly or wrongly cause frustration. The critiques I have read argue that some of this advisory work could be done locally – I have no idea if this is true. While I have met some formidable Bougainvillean lawyers, I accept perhaps Bougainville lacks skills in discrete legal area?”

“However, I think what upsets people most (I could be wrong, my evidence is anecdotal) – the money is an issue, not the main one – is the perceived connection AusAID advisors have with Rio Tinto, a company many communities view as criminal, and responsible for death and destruction on a major scale (added to that, many landowning communities simply cannot understand why the proposed mining legislation protects BCL/Rio’s historical claims over Panguna, given the latter’s unapologetic stance, without also enshrining the community’s right to reparations for damage suffered. In short it seemingly violates basic principles of balance).”

“Sam Kauona argued this in The National and pointed to links between ABG advisors and Rio Tinto/BCL. Perhaps he has an agenda, I don’t know, Axel Sturm and others allege this is the case – but he deserves the presumption of innocence. That aside, Sam made this argument because he knows it resonates with many on the ground.”

“For example, your Co-Investigator on the AusAID illegal mining project, who also acts as an AusAID mining adviser on Bougainville, obtains “substantial financial assistance” from Rio Tinto to conduct research (https://newmatilda.com/…/ausaid-fuels-bougainville…). Given the role the latter organisation played in the violence and destruction on Bougainville, at the very least, this would seem a poor choice of funder; at worse it create a potential conflict of interest, given Rio Tinto’s significant financial interests on Bougainville. There are also important ethical issues here. For example, many researchers would not take funding from, or do consultancy work for BCL/Rio, in light of its human rights record (though to my knowledge, no scholar does consultancy work for BCL, perhaps for this reason).”

“The attack on you in The National may have been unfair, and perhaps the more limited critiques on this forum, including my own, are also unfair. But at the same time, when discussing the nefarious role BCL/Rio played in the military operations on Bougainville, you have claimed that there is no credible evidence to support this allegation. You appear to be aware (please correct me if I am wrong) that senior BCL managers have acknowledged this role, a fact that has been corroborated by numerous PNG government officials, and internal company records (minutes, memorandums, letters). Yet you maintain this evidence is not credible. You may not agree with your critics, but at the very least Anthony can you appreciate their concern in light of your unmoved position on BCL’s conduct?”

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Filed under Financial returns, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

Mr Regan and the Rio Tinto takeover of Bougainville

Starting From Scratch

We should examine what it would take to run an ethical, transparent operation – one that doesn’t require Australian academics to serve as advisory mercenaries to launder unethical behavior in the name of progress

David Martin | Inverted Alchemy

I’ve spent a considerable amount of time this week reviewing the creative writing of Australia National University’s Fellow of State, Society & Government in Melanesia Program Mr. Anthony Regan.  Having “specialized in constitutional development” in Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, East Timor and Uganda, Mr. Regan has recently submitted a proposed “transitional mining act” to the Parliament of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

And, for those of you who are not familiar with Bougainville, a little history lesson is in order.  Under a dubious entitlement mandate from the United Nations following the Second World War, the Australian government decided that it needed to take possession of the massive metal reserves in the island at the end of the Solomon chain and, in 1967, confiscated Bougainville for their exploitation while ‘facilitating’ independence for the state of Papua New Guinea.  Over the well-documented opposition of many local communities, the Australian Administration and their appointees in the Papuan Administration, the 1967 Bougainville Copper Agreement Act became a supra-Constitutional Agreement between a territorial administration and Bougainville Copper Limited.  As if to prove that they knew that they were violating international legal standards, clause 4 of the amended Act states that “no other law of Papua New Guinea, affects this Act or the Agreement.”  In clause 5 of the amended Act, the Prime Minister (remember, the State had not yet been established) is granted the power to exclusively administer the Act without any consent, approval, or any other law.  In other words, the Australians, in what amounts to unlawful territorial seizure, enacted a law above ANY sovereign law directly expropriating land for their exclusive economic exploitation.  Oh, and for their $5 million trouble of exploring the mineral reserves, the Company (BCL) had to pay the extraordinary sum of 1.25% of ‘applicable revenue’ from the mine!

In an elaborate scheme reminiscent of the first theft of Bougainville’s assets, Mr. Regan has complied with the wishes of his paymasters and drafted a new mining bill that preserves nearly all the abuses embodied in the 1967 Act.  To add insult to injury, his proposed bill reinforces the corruption quotient by burying in Clause 26 the nullification of the over 200 provisions with the simple empowerment of the Autonomous Bougainville Government to act unilaterally and without consideration of any law as it wishes.  Using his “constitutional” expertise, he’s taken to the U.S. government’s definition of Constitutional Law – if it is expedient, do it and tread on the Constitution to get what you want (thanks GW and BO!).

Now Mr. Regan and BCL (along with Rio Tinto – the 54% owner of BCL) want to take advantage of the pro-autonomy movement in Bougainville and pull off another heist of gargantuan proportion.  But they forget that the world is more interconnected.  And while they and the BCL shareholders desperately want to take another malevolent trip around their merry-go-round of abuse, they are ignoring the simple fact that their “advice” and extra-governmental manipulation are now available for the world to see.

Whether the Panguna Mine opens or not is an issue that should be decided by the citizens of Bougainville – including those who participated in the armed uprising in 1989.  But more fundamentally, we should examine what it would take to run an ethical, transparent operation – one that doesn’t require Australian academics to serve as advisory mercenaries to launder unethical behavior in the name of progress.  If the citizens of Bougainville determine that they would like to see their land utilized for mineral extraction, that’s a call that they should make fully informed of all the facts.  They should be informed of the state-of-the-art in development, mining, environmental management, power generation, and market participation at all capital levels.  If Rio Tinto and BCL want to be candidates as future operators, they should step up to the damage that they’ve already done and evidence their candidacy for action not by manipulating the law but by being responsible citizens accountable for past harm.

This week, Australia has a chance to amend a blight on its post-War legacy in the Pacific.  It can intervene in this miscarriage of due process.  Together with the citizens of Bougainville, Australia can start from scratch and see if it can win in the full light of day rather than in the veiled obscurity of manipulation and corruption.  We’ll see.

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Filed under Human rights, Papua New Guinea

International miners line up to plot the destruction of our oceans

dsms

As we move into an era of mining the deep-ocean floor, the world’s most remote and least understood environment, mining companies are working on overcoming the perceived challenges and island nations are watching with interest. As the demand for base metals and minerals surges ever beyond what our land is able to provide, new technological and technical developments are helping to drive forward this new industry.

The Deep Sea Mining Summit 2014 will bring together a large array of solution providers, upcoming deep sea miners, members from the scientific community, and those within allied industries wanting to learn more about the opportunities within this emerging marketplace.

Following the huge success of the previous Deep Sea Mining Summit, this year’s objective is to build on and identify new and innovative technology developments, technical know-how’s, and to focus on the real challenges which face a new breed of deep sea miners and industry providers. Case studies and real results will address the issues.

The Deep Sea Mining Summit is seeking presentations that are focused on the following topics:
•  New developments in deep sea mining, a resources future
•  Achieving sustainable seabed mining projects
•  Regional studies of Seafloor Massive Sulphide deposits and
Manganese Nodules
•  Prospecting and Exploration, Methods and Results
•  Deep sea mining equipment, lessons learned and future developments
•  Future of technologies for seabed mining and robotic innovations

A rise in the demand for metals and minerals has led to an inflation of prices never seen before in history, particularly of many base metals that are found in seabed deposits. Both private and government-sponsored marine mineral exploration projects are on-going in efforts to respond to this ever increasing demand. To date, the International Seabed Authority has awarded 17 applications for seabed exploration licenses. As new technological solutions are being utilised for deep sea mining explorations we anticipate new commercial operations to develop further in the near term.

The Deep Sea Mining Summit will be an opportunity for professionals engaged in relevant disciplines to report on their accomplishments and to exchange views. Presentations that focus on the challenges facing the deep sea mining sector, in particular, an update on recent technological and technical developments are most welcomed, along with other relevant topics of timely interest.

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