President John Momis is stinging in his criticism of RTG Mining but the same critique surely applies equally to his own preferred option, Caballus Mining, and the previous horse he backed, BCL…
Radio New Zealand |19 March 2019
The government in the autonomous Papua New Guinea region of Bougainville has dashed any hope it would work with the Australian miner, RTG, accusing the company of bribery.
The Bougainville government and RTG are promoting unrelated schemes to re-open the Panguna mine.
After a meeting between the two parties earlier this month, RTG’s chairman Michael Garrick felt they got a good hearing and there was a chance they’d work together in re-developing Panguna.
But Bougainville President John Momis said his government is emphatically rejecting the offer, and accuses the company of insensitivity and disregard for the customs, culture and sacrifice of all the people of Bougainville.
He said RTG’s achievements as a miner are limited and investors have no faith in its ability to deliver.
Granting a mining lease to RTG would pose an intolerable risk, Mr Momis said.
Mr Momis said payments and loans the government understands that RTG gave to members of one particular group of landowners, the Special Mining Lease Osikaiang Landowners Authority, constitute bribery, as do similar offers made to his government during the recent meeting.
Relevant agencies in PNG and Australia would be notified, he said.