O’Neill: ABG Will Not Control 53% Shares

oneill parliament

Fabian Hakalits | EMTV | 18 August, 2016

Shares of the Bougainville Copper Limited has become a debatable issue in Parliament.

Today Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill responded during question time and said that the Autonomous Bougainville Government will not control 53 per cent of the BCL shares.

The Prime Minister said this is the reason why the Government of Papua New Guinea has transferred 17.4 per cent of shares to the landowners and the people of Bougainville.

The Prime Minister was responding to questions from the Sinesine-Yongomul MP, Kerenga Kua, who was concerned over the mine’s equity which was a contentious issue that led to many blood shed during the civil war on Bougainvlle.

“Within that decision, was there an additional provision made to ensure that part of the equity give to the Autonomous Bougainville Government is actually allocated to the local people of Panguna so that they feel that their sacrifices and efforts had been compensated and recognised by their National Government, which is us,” Kua said.

In response the Prime Minister said:

“Mr Speaker, in respect to Panguna, these shares are not given to the Autonomous Bougainville Government. I think that my statement very clearly stated that it is going to the landowners and the people of Bougainville. I have deliberately done that, so that Mr Speaker, ABG does not control 53 per cent of the mine. I wanted a separate vehicle, that the landowners can fully, meaningfully, directly participate in BCL.

“Mr Speaker,and again second reason, why the Government did that because, Mr Speaker, I understand that from the mining laws of ABG, I need some clarity on this but it is my understanding that ABG only provides 5 per cent, of the interest, that they represent through the landowners. I do not believe that was sufficient enough to compensate some of these sufferings that the landowners in Bougainvillle carried on.

“That is why Mr Speaker, it will be a separate, stand-alone vehicle for the Panguna landowners and also the other Bougainvilleans who suffered during the crisis,” O’Neill said.

The manner in which the BCL Shares was handled has raised curiosity among leaders and the people Bougainville.

President, Chief John Momis, has been very vocal on this issue saying the Autonomous Bougainville Government is the legitimate authority.

And such move by the National Government is dangerous, in breach of the Bougainville Peace Agreement.

“As we are concerned, it is not fair, it is unjust. The best we can do under the circumstances is to persuade and ask the National Government to give us the 17 per cent so that we have 53 per cent in the BCL shares,”

“Of course the National Government has 19 per cent and we welcome them. We want the National Government to be in this deal with us, and of course 27 per cent shares owned by individuals. We believe that this is a win-win deal,” Momis said.

The Opposition Leader, Don Polye has raised the alarm saying issues concerning Bougainville were of sensitive and must be treated with careful considerations, to avoid another civil war.

In a statement, Mr Polye said:

“They never asked for money but economy, integral human development and livelihood and not money”.

The Opposition Leader has called on Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, to fully understand issues concerning Bougainville.

2 Comments

Filed under Financial returns, Papua New Guinea

2 responses to “O’Neill: ABG Will Not Control 53% Shares

  1. Pingback: O’Neill: ABG Will Not Control 53% Shares — Papua New Guinea Mine Watch – Jakeman's 10-20

  2. Radio Australia, Pacific Beat, 19 August 2016
    Radio Interview with President Momis (7 min 15 sec)

    Momis: Mine share transfer is deliberate attempt to undermine Bougainville Government
    Updated about an hour ago

    The president of Bougainville John Momis is calling for an urgent meeting with Prime Minister Peter O’Neill over PNG government plans to transfer gifted shares in the Panguna copper mine to Bougainville landowners.

    John Momis says he’s furious at the move which he says puts the future of peace on Bougainville under threat.

    Mr O’Neill announced in Parliament on Wednesday that Rio Tinto shares gifted to the PNG government would be transfered to the people of Bougainville as part of expansive plans to solve several mining and liquid natural gas issues.

    But John Momis says the Prime Minister is misleading the people of Bougainville and that the transfer of these shares will mean little to the landowners.

    Richard Ewart
    Source: Pacific Beat | Duration: 7min 15sec

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-19/momis:-mine-share-transfer-is-deliberate-attempt/7765644

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