Bougainville’s President Momis caught lying to parliament about mining

A mined mindIn a recent speech to Bougainville’s Parliament, President Momis, declared that his government has stripped BCL of its rights to the Panguna mine (had anyone checked they would know they expired in 2011). The new Mining Act he argued, will only allow BCL to return to Panguna if they have the consent of the landowners:

‘So the Mining Act does provide tough conditions applying to the possibility of re-opening Panguna. But that possibility is subject to very big protections for landowners, and for Bougainville more generally … The law makes landowners the owners the minerals in all customary land. As a result, Panguna landowners can veto both exploration of their land, and any mining licence, including for re-opening Panguna. As a result, there will be no re-opening of Panguna unless landowners of the area agree. Obviously landowners will agree only if they are satisfied with the proposals that BCL makes. If BCL does not satisfy the concerns of the landowners and the ABG, it will lose its Exploration Licence. It would then be possible for another developer to be considered’.

Several minutes later in the same speech, Momis raises concerns over alleged plans by the O’Neill government in PNG to purchase Rio Tinto’s stake in BCL. In a dire warning to his compatriots, Momis argues this will give the PNG government full control over Panguna, to do with it as they wish:

‘If PNG does purchase Rio’s 53.83 per cent shares, there would be several consequences, including:
• together with the 19.3 per cent BLC shares it already owns, PNG would own over 73 per cent of BCL;
• transfer of 30 per cent of the BCL shares to Bougainville would still leave PNG the largest shareholder in BCL, and effectively controlling Panguna’.

So which is it – BCL has been humbled by the Momis government, and can only return to Panguna if they can convince landowners? Or BCL has total effective control over Panguna, which means if BCL is purchased by the O’Neill government they will be able to once again terrorise landowners and claim Panguna’s ore body?

Surely according to Momis himself, if the PNG government owns BCL, it gives them no rights whatsoever to reopen Panguna unless they have landowner and ABG consent? Why the fear campaign then?

Perhaps Panguna landowners are not protected to the extent Momis claims by the Mining Act? Recent criticisms by Jubilee Australia suggest this is the case. Has Momis just agreed with Jubilee via the back door?

Or maybe the threat posed by O’Neill is being inflated by Momis to distract people from more important issues closer to home?

Either way, issuing such clearly contradictory statements only inches apart – all in the cause of manipulation – demonstrates how elites have little respect for the grass roots people or their intelligence.

6 Comments

Filed under Human rights, Papua New Guinea

6 responses to “Bougainville’s President Momis caught lying to parliament about mining

  1. It seems that Momis has a hidden agenda. His doings so far seems to hint that he is designing to alienate the Panguna landowners from having any rights to the mine site.

  2. I wish you all stop fighting and get all things cleaned up for the good of the island people , they had enough ,

    • That’s true and I support you. But those who were trusted to do the right things for those affected people are putting up so much barriers to alienate those who need the help most. That’s what makes us speak against those who are taking advantage.

  3. Ning Aung

    Whilst the Panguna Landowners hold Mr. Momis in the highest regard as an Elder and Leader, I don’t see the RESPECT reciprocated. Mr. Momis has put the interest of the Government before the People. This only works if you have a Honest/Wise President at the Helm of the Region. I understand that his is trying to setup a self sustaining Government, with the interest of the Majority in mind HOWEVER, this was the exact line of thought used to usher in the Independent State of Papua New Guinea. Where Panguna was used to sustain PNG for 13 years of Independence. AND it was that forgotten minority (Bougainvillians) that eventually stood up against that Government. Why can we not learn from the past? I Love My Island Bougainville……

  4. The hidden agenda is the mining company.
    Why did the PNG Government Jet, KUMUL land at the Aropa airport in Bougainville on Christmas day?
    President Momis has admitted that he was invited by the PNG Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill for a meeting with RIO TINTO in Singapore on December 17th, 2015.
    In 2016, the PNG State-owned Kumul Mineral Holdings Limited (KMHL) previously known as Petromin “will continue to operate under the new legislation and will hold the State’s back in right in all mineral projects”.
    (See p57, Petromin 2014 Annual Report)
    Where are the safeguards for Bougainville?

    09 April 2013
    The Kumul Holdings mystery – where are safeguards?
    BLAIR PRICE | PNGIndustryNews.net

    THERE are concerns about the “closed door” nature of recently unveiled Papua New Guinea government plans to consolidate its mining, petroleum and business assets into a state-owned “Kumul structure”, which includes its stakes in Ok Tedi and PNG LNG.

    PNGIndustryNews.net’s exclusive story on the dismantling of Petromin first revealed the Kumul name last week and subsequent media coverage forced prime minister Peter O’Neill to shed more light.

    According to the Post-Courier, O’Neill said all of the state’s mining interests, which includes the Ok Tedi Mining Limited, Ramu Nickel and Bougainville Copper stakes held by Mineral Resources Development Corporation, would be transferred to Kumul Mining Holding Limited.

    As flagged by PNGIndustryNews.net last week, all the government’s petroleum assets will be transferred to Kumul Petroleum Holding Limited including the 16.6% PNG LNG project stake held by Independent Public Business Corporation.

    However, IPBC will reportedly be wound up like Petromin with all of its non-mining and non-petroleum assets to be transferred to a new entity simply called Kumul Holding Limited.
    IPBC is already a storehouse for state-owned enterprises with just some including PNG Power, PNG Ports, Post PNG, Telikom PNG, Air Niugini, PNG Waterboard, Eda Ranu, National Development Bank and Motor Vehicle Insurance Limited.

    While all of the Kumul companies reportedly are “now being developed” and require various legislative changes, there are also plans for an overarching Kumul Trust which will feature previous PMs Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare, Sir Julius Chan and Paias Wingti as shareholders and current PM O’Neill as trustee.

    O’Neill said the restructuring would remove inefficiencies but there is concern about what kind of fiscal management safeguards will be in place under the Kumul structure.

    In the case of IPBC, Institute of National Affairs PNG executive director Paul Barker said it had established mechanisms to provide a degree of accountability even though some were undermined in the last decade.

    “The new mechanisms at this stage certainly leave a lot of questions,” he said of the Kumul structure.

    “They do involve very new and unchartered waters with respect to these constitutional amendments and trusts and the use of various current and past PMs as shareholders and the current PM having veto power in that role.”

    He told PNGIndustryNews.net that the public should be demanding all the details and really “a lot more explanation about this shareholding proposal”.

    “Maybe there is some logic in terms of a rationalisation but there are a lot details that need to be spelt out,” Barker said.

    “And certainly it needs to be very much in the public eye because this seems to have been pushed through – very much behind closed doors – and I’m not sure that many of the cabinet members yet alone the wider public and state entities were aware of all this.

    “It came out of the blue.”

    • Here we see two vultures. The bigger vulture swooping in to catch the smaller vulture with its prey in its grip. Momis’s mining law was designed merely to disadvantage land owners from raising any damage claims, or environmental protection issues. He wanted the AGB to have absolute rights to every thing from mineral to environment to pollution with no interference from the people who live there. Peter O’Neil Kumul Holdings is nothing but trying to take the wealth of the nation away and put in the hands of a few greedy millionaires who will eventually control the economy of the country and dictate how this country should be run. Thats why the PM wants to tuck Momis into his pocket so that he will bring Panguna Copper and the wealth it generates into his Kumul basket. The country should rise up against this cunning plots.

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