Sebastian Hakalits | Post Courier
THE Autonomous Bougainville Government’s Mining Department and its partners have been working tirelessly for seven years to develop a policy framework for a long term mining law to meet Bougainville’s special needs.
Last week international experts and their Bougainville counterparts conducted a workshop attended by ABG cabinet members and senior Bougainville public services officers.
The purpose of the workshop was to brief these leaders and senior officers on the long-term and detailed draft act and regulations which would give effect to ABG’s previous decisions on the mining policy to become a best-practice law.
Bougainville is the only place in the world where a local rebellion over mining issues has forced the shut-down of a very large mine of 25 years. These international experts have been in Bougainville and working closely with the Bougainville team on the draft act and regulation and together they have agreed on many improvements which have been agreed upon to by cabinet.
The experts’ team leader, Jeremy Weate and senior expert Professor James Otto, have assured cabinet that they will make agreed changes to the draft act and regulations with the final draft to be delivered to ABG in early November this year.
Acting President Patrick Nisira and Mining Minister Michael Oni both expressed satisfaction on the rapid progress made in preparing Bougainville’s long-term mining law.
They said policy work began in 2007 where many stakeholders were invited to attend workshops and air views as it was ABG’s aim that this new law should address Bougainville’s special needs and should adopt world’s best practice.