Tom Kathoa | New Dawn
Whilst a negotiation on the future of the closed Panguna Copper Mine continues, the ABG Government is looking at the Agricultural Sector as its fall-back plan.
Minister for Referendum, Veterans Affairs and Peace, Hon Patrick Nisira says the ABG Government is very keen on reopening the Panguna Mine, but the final decision would have to come from the landowners.
The reopening of the mine would mean more jobs for Bougainville’s young population, create an economic climate and opportunities and other benefits for the region.
Minister Nisira also said that benefits gained from the mine’s operations would go a long way in sustaining the region’s autonomy while at the same time putting money into the people’s pockets.
Bougainville has to raise its cash economy, improve and increase its human resource capacity and make the region weapons free and referendum ready between now and 2020.
The Vice President says although talks are in progress on the reopening of the mine, it seems unlikely that this would happen in the life of this parliament.
And, he says the ABG Government is now looking at Agriculture and Fisheries as alternative revenue income earners.