Rival questions authority of Bougainville’s Osikaiyang landowners

“The original divisions from the beginning of the conflict in Panguna #Bougainville have not gone away. Foreign controlled companies continue to involve themselves and interfere which exacerbates the situation. Money continues to corrupt individuals and complicate any resolution” Stret Pasin

Radio New Zealand | 16 July 2019 

The Special Mining Lease Osikaiyang Landowners Association represents itself as the key body at the site of the Panguna mine, which various interests are looking to develop.

Osikaiyang wants to operate Panguna with an Australian company, RTG.

But the Panguna Development Company, which has links to rival prospective operator, BCL, said Osikaiyang is making misleading public statements when it has no right to do so, under the region’s mining act.

It said such statements can only be given by customary heads, who are authorised to represent the Panguna blocks, and Osikaiyang has never had this consent.

Last week Osikaiyang issued an ultimatum, suggesting the referendum on independence from Papua New Guinea could be derailed if it doesn’t get its way over Panguna.

The Development Company called this threat unfortunate.

Meanwhile, government moves to change the Mining Act to allow a third foreign company to take charge of the mine have been put on hold until after the referendum.

3 Comments

Filed under Bougainville, Corruption, Papua New Guinea

3 responses to “Rival questions authority of Bougainville’s Osikaiyang landowners

  1. Bougainville landowners group claims rival a BCL surrogate
    17 July 2019 – Radio NZ, Pacific News

    The Bougainville landowner group, Special Mining Lease Osikaiyang Landowners’ Association or SMLOL, has rejected claims by another group claiming rights around the Panguna mine.
    There have been plans to re-start mining as Bougainvilleans contemplate life after the referendum on independence from Papua New Guinea.

    A company called the Panguna Development Company has questioned the bona fides of SMLOL to say they represent the landowners at the site of the mine.

    But SMLOL said it has the backing of the vast majority of blockholders, that its authority is recognised by the National Court and that its registered office is at the building housing the Bougainville Department of Mining.

    SMLOL also said the Panguna Development Company was established just a few months ago by a rival for the re-opening of the Panguna mine, Bougainville Copper Ltd.

    A SMLOL spokesman Philip Miriori said Panguna Development Company has just one listed shareholder, Eric Takapau, who he said had since passed away.
    https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/394561/bougainville-landowners-group-claims-rival-a-bcl-surrogate

  2. Pingback: Bougainville landowners group claims rival a BCL surrogate | Papua New Guinea Mine Watch

  3. peter webb

    Are you aware that Mark Hitchcock who pulls the strings at BCL was a previous temporary manager and accountant at Rio Tinto Pt Moresby .Any conflict of interest?

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