Post Courier | July 22, 2019
The Special Mining Lease Osikaiyang Landowners Association (SMLOLA) has welcomed the Bougainville Mining Minister Raymond Masono’s statement that the ABG is prepared to discuss Panguna and find a resolution.
“Reconciliation is vital at this critical time,” said SMLOLA chair Philip Miriori.
“If the minister is genuine and I believe he is, this is the first positive step forward towards reconciliation after many years of trying to have a meeting.
“We are committed to working with the ABG and really appreciate the Minister’s invitation.”
He said the ABG does not appear to have a full understanding of the Panguna landowners proposal and believe that this meeting will be the first step in clarifying any misunderstanding.
Mr Miriori said: “The Panguna landowners are offering to transfer to the ABG and all the people of Bougainville, 100 per cent of Panguna.
“Secondly, the landowners proposal is for the ABG to issue the Panguna License to this 100 per cent ABG owned entity and operate the mine, in a fair, world’s best, corporate partnership.
“It’s important that any ABG- Panguna proposal has landowner support as if there is one thing the history of Panguna screams loudest, it is the critical need for landowner support and harmony,” Mr Miriori said.
“Again, we look forward to meaningful and fruitful dialogue with our Mining Minister and ABG as soon as possible. We are here to help and work co-operatively with the ABG – we just need genuine and open dialogue.