“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.