PNG warns Momis over Bougainville share row

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill (left) and the Bougainville President, John Momis (right) Photo: AFP/RNZI

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill (left) and the Bougainville President, John Momis (right) Photo: AFP/RNZI

Radio New Zealand | 22 August 2016

The Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has warned Bougainville’s John Momis not to play politics over Bougainville Copper Limited shares.

Mr O’Neill sparked fury in President Momis last week by handing the national government’s shares in BCL to landowners on Bougainville rather than to the Autonomous Bougainville Government.

Mr Momis said this threatened the peace process and he said his government could well pull BCL’s exploration licence, which would make the shares worthless.

Mr O’Neill said Mr Momis was trying to manipulate the peace process for political gain.

He said the ABG was very welcome to participate in the consultation process with the landowners, but the shares would go to the people who had a direct stake in the mine.

Mr O’Neill said the views of the National Executive Council were final.

He said the government was committed to advancing the peace process, and not play petty politics that could only undermine peace.

Mr O’Neill said he gave the shares to the landowners so that the ABG could not have outright control of the mine.

He said this was better for transparency, and ensured that shares were in the hands of the traditional people to whom they belonged.


1 Comment

Filed under Environmental impact, Financial returns, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

One response to “PNG warns Momis over Bougainville share row

  1. Radio New Zealand, 23 August 2016

    Hopes for solution over Bougainville share deal
    5:53 am today

    An MP in the Papua New Guinea Government said he was sure an amicable settlement would be reached in a spat over Bougainville Copper Ltd shares.

    The Bougainville Government was furious it had not been gifted shares in the company by the national government which instead gave them to Bougainville landowners.

    Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, has attacked Bougainville leader John Momis, accusing him of politicising the peace process, but the MP for

    Central Bougainville and PNG Minister of Communication, Jimmy Miringtoro, is confident the parties will come together.

    “Now I believe this 17.4 percent is just a start, the way I see it. There will be negotiations that will be taking place between the ABG [Autonomous Bougainville Government] and the landowners and I believe they will find an amicable solution,” he said.

    The BCL shares had belonged to Rio Tinto which has walked away from Bougainville with no plans to clean up the environmental and social mess left by its huge Panguna mine.

    Bougainville’s Panguna copper mineBougainville’s Panguna copper mine Photo: Supplied

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