Bougainville #BCL Mining News : Seven reasons why : BCL no longer the ‘devil-we-know’, but the ‘devil-we-own

Bougainville News | April 6, 2017

“As the ‘devil-we-own’, and one that is subject to the very tough requirements of the Bougainville Mining Act, BCL is now required to seek new investors into some sort of partnership with BCL, and come up with a deal acceptable to the landowners and to the ABG.

At this stage it is a decision that will be subject to the powers of the mine lease landowners under the Bougainville Mining Act to veto the project if they are not satisfied with the conditions for re-opening.

In addition, it will be subject to the ABG being satisfied – on behalf of all Bougainvilleans – that the project conditions are just and equitable.

As well as other Bougainvilleans may want to understand better why I announced ABG support for BCL. There are several separate but powerful reasons.

ABG President Chief Dr John Momis

The Autonomous Bougainville Government’s decision to support Bougainville Copper Limited’s proposal for reopening the Panguna Mine is only in principle.

ABG President Chief Dr John Momis said that at this stage it is a decision that will be subject to the powers of the mine lease landowners under the Bougainville Mining Act to veto the project if they are not satisfied with the conditions for re-opening.

In addition, it will be subject to the ABG being satisfied – on behalf of all Bougainvilleans – that the project conditions are just and equitable.

“As well as other Bougainvilleans may want to understand better why I announced ABG support for BCL. There are several separate but powerful reasons,” Momis said.

Momis explained that the first is that BCL is no longer owned by Rio. Rather, the ABG holds over 33 per cent of BCL shares, and the National Government has promised that the 17.4 per cent shares it received from Rio will be transferred to ownership of Bougainvilleans, including Panguna landowners.

This means that BCL is now a different company. It is not a subsidiary of Rio Tinto. Instead it is majority owned by Bougainvilleans.

“As a result, as stated recently by the new Vice President, BCL is no longer the ‘devil-we-know’, but is instead the ‘devil-we-own,” Momis said.

“As the ‘devil-we-own’, and one that is subject to the very tough requirements of the Bougainville Mining Act, BCL is now required to seek new investors into some sort of partnership with BCL, and come up with a deal acceptable to the landowners and to the ABG,” Momis said

Without such a deal, BCL will have little option but to cease existence – to liquidate and to distribute its remaining funds to its shareholders. At that point, Bougainville will be able to seek other potential developers.

A second reason why the ABG supports BCL is that BCL still holds an Exploration Licence over the area of the former Special Mining Lease. While it holds that licence, we must deal with BCL.

A third reason is that BCL is a reputable company, with reputable board members and management.

A fourth reason is that BCL still holds all the drilling and exploration data for the ore body at Panguna.

A fifth reason is that BCL shows willingness to deal with the legacy issues left by the operation when it closed in 1989.

A sixth reason is that BCL has shown responsibility over the past 5 years in working closely with the ABG and the 6 relevant landowner associations to gradually develop responsible and workable arrangements for making the payment of the 1990 land rents and occupation fees etc.

The seventh and final reason is that the leaders of the combined landowner associations have almost unanimously consistently indicated their support for BCL as the preferred company to become involved in re-opening Panguna.

“I emphasize, however, that despite all these reasons for supporting the BCL proposal, there are as yet no guarantees that it will be BCL that re-opens the mine,” Momis said.

“I must repeat the point already made that everything will depend on whether the ABG and the landowners are satisfied with the proposal that BCL eventually puts forward – provided of course that BCL is able to get the funding partners it will need to put forward a viable proposal,” Momis added.

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3 Comments

Filed under Environmental impact, Financial returns, Papua New Guinea

3 responses to “Bougainville #BCL Mining News : Seven reasons why : BCL no longer the ‘devil-we-know’, but the ‘devil-we-own

  1. Time this mater was all settle sombody has to make decisions. What is best for the people. ,

  2. ABG President Chief Dr John Momis, is still clinging to a mineral-riches agenda for Bougainville instead of a broad-based 21st century economy of sustainable cooperative development under the Small-Island Sustainable Development under the UNCED agenda 21 that was affirmed at the UN Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, in 1994.
    “Based on the principle of the right to development, small island developing States should, in accordance with their own priorities, endeavour to achieve the goals of sustainable development by, inter alia, formulating and implementing policies, strategies and programmes that take into account
    development, health and environmental goals, strengthening national institutions, and mobilizing all available resources, all of which are aimed at improving the quality of life” (UN 1994).
    ABG President Chief Dr John Momis just doesn’t get it; Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) was the lackey of Rio Tinto and organised on the ground deployment of forces aimed at crushing Bougainville landowner aspirations for a better deal from the Panguna mine. And to say that BCL holds an exploration license is plain dishonesty. Whatever license Rio Tinto held via its subsidiary was rescinded through an act of war; but even if not, the Bougainville parliament has stripped mining licenses from Rio Tinto (see ABC news media article) and it would follow that the subsidiary license would expire from divestiture of its parent holding company.

    Rio Tinto subsidiary Bougainville Copper has been stripped of all its exploration and mining licences by the Bougainville Government.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-11/bougainville-new-mine/5663620

    In principle, both the ABG and PNG governments have been puppets for Rio Tinto and BCL, whereby, the ABG and PNG will both hold an equal share in BCL of 36.4 per cent now the transfers are completed. As stated by Rio Tinto, “This ensures both parties are equally involved in any consideration and decision-making around the future of the Panguna mine”. So, in principle, Rio Tinto and BCL are calling the shots and making all the important decisions about Bougainville. For President Momis to state that ” BCL is a reputable company, with reputable board members and management” is in principle, a kick in the face to the people of Bougainville.

  3. ABC News, Pacific Beat 7 April 2017

    UN & PNG govt. agree on a new game plan to tackle Sustainable Development Goals
    Updated about 2 hours ago
    The United Nations and the Papua New Guinea Government have signed off on a new Development Assistance Framework that will guide the UN’s future work in PNG.
    At the heart of the agreement are the four P’s – People, Prosperity, Planet and Peace, all of which are linked to the Sustainable Development Goals.
    The new deal comes when the economy is going through some rocky times, but the UN’s Resident Coordinator in PNG, Roy Trivedy, says he’s confident Papua New Guinea can achieve its goals by the 2030 target date.
    Richard Ewart Duration: 4min 15sec
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-07/un-&-png-govt.-agree-on-a-new-game-plan-to-tackle/8424588

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