Radio New Zealand | 3 May 2017
The government in the autonomous Papua New Guinea region of Bougainville says it will consider a petition from a landowning group opposed to Bougainville Copper Ltd returning to the long closed Panguna mine.
The Osikiang Special Mining Lease landowners handed a petition with about 500 signatures to President John Momis’s office last Friday.
They said, as the owners of the site of Panguna, they would never allow BCL to return, because the company had not done anything about the destruction it had caused.
Mr Momis said they would consider the petition but one group cannot hold up Bougainville’s economic development.
“Well they keep changing their position. One time they want the mine to go ahead and another time they – but we will accept their petition and then see it in the totality of things because, you know, we can’t be held back by just one group of people, although they are the owners of the mine site currently.”
The Osikiang Landowners have a separate commitment with an Australian mining conglomerate, RTG, to develop Panguna.
Bougainville Copper Ltd, or BCL, is now controlled by the Bougainville and Papua New Guinea governments, after its multi national owner worked [sic] away, handing its shares to the two governments.
President Momis has said whether Panguna ever re-opens is up in the air, but his government has now opened up mining explorations in other parts of Bougainville