Sebastian Hakalits | Post Courier | March 03, 2017
THE Bougainville Government’s position on Panguna mine had always been clear – to re-open it, says Bougainville Vice-Presient Raymond Masono.
Mr Masono said that the region would have fiscal self-reliance and also the majority of Bougainvilleans would enjoy a better life again when the mine re-opens.
He said there was opposition to the mine re-opening but they were a minority.
“We need Panguna to finance independence for Bougainville,” he added.
Mr Masono said that the mine would bring quick development and it still had a large known reserve yet to be mined.
Last week in Buka, K5 million was paid to four landowner associations. The cheque payment by Bougainville Copper Limited was done at Kuri Village Resort and was witnessed by Mr Masono, ABG Ministers, senior government officers and staff.
“It is not the devil that we used to know, but it’s now the devil that we own,” Mr Masono said in reference to BCL, adding that it would be foolish go out looking for other developers when BCL was available.
More than K14 million will be paid to the Panguna landowner groups when their outstanding claims with BCL are settled.
Six landowner associations that were established before the Bougainville Crisis (1988-1998) and another three were established after the conflict, bringing the total to nine landowner associations.
More than K14 million will be made to the Panguna landowner groups when Bougainville Copper Limited completes outstanding claims are settled.