Tag Archives: Bougainville

BCL determined not to take no for an answer!

Firm set to intensify community engagement

The National aka The Loggers Times | July 18, 2017

Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) is set to intensify its community engagement activities as part of a comprehensive, staged development plan for a new Panguna mining project.

BCL chairman Rob Burns said a genuine commitment to stakeholder engagement underpinned the development plan and the company was putting in place resources and personnel to step up its on-the-ground activities in Bougainville over the coming months.

“We understand that building trust and widespread support among all relevant parties, as well as the people of Bougainville, is essential if the aim of renewing mining at Panguna is to be realised,” Burns said in a statement on the company’s website.

“By working collaboratively with all groups, we have every confidence that outstanding issues can be resolved and the necessary benchmarks can be met for the project to advance.”

BCL noted recent comments by a third-party company, RTG Mining Inc, that it had been nominated by one of nine landowner associations as a development partner in a Panguna project.

Burns said it was important to stress that BCL’s first right to develop the Panguna tenement was clear and unambiguous under the Bougainville Mining Act 2015.

He also noted RTG’s pledge to “fully respect” this right.

“There can be no doubt that we are committed to exercising our right through the implementation of our development plan, which has the full backing of the Autonomous Bougainville Government and broad endorsement among the landowner associations,” he said.

Burns said it was unfortunate that there was some dispute over the leadership of one of the nine landowner associations and Bougainville Copper Limited was hopeful of a lasting resolution of the issue and would continue to work with landowners.

“We know there are people with different views, but equally, we are encouraged by the levels of support we have received to date and will work hard to further build our relationships,” Burns said.

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EX COMBATANTS SUPPORT PANGUNA WOMEN

Bougainville Revolutionary Army fighters look down on the Panguna mine in 1996

Aloysius Laukai | New Dawn | 30 June 2017

South Bougainville Ex combatants yesterday supported the actions made by Panguna women to block the ABG team from meeting with landowners to sign a MOU to open the closed PANGUNA COPPER MINE.

Chairman of the South Bougainville Ex-combatants Association, DAVID KONGKORI told New Dawn FM that the issue needs proper consultation between all stakeholders and not just the PANGUNA landowners.

He said that the issue could create division and must not be allowed to proceed with one part of the community against it.

MR. KONGKORI said that the ex-combatants view is that the ABG must not push for the re-opening when underlying issues that started the conflict are yet to be addressed.

He said that the GOVERNMENT must not think about how much in Kina they can get out of Panguna but also look at the reconciliation issues that are still outstanding between the PANGUNA landowners themselves.

MR. KONGKORI said Panguna people are still divided with different factions still operating like the MEKAMUI UNITY GOVERNMENT and the MEKAMUI Original government just to name a few.

He said all the people of Bougainville who died fighting for PANGUNA must not be forgotten in any new deals.
MR. KONGKORI said that as fighters of war, we don’t want to fight for the same thing again.

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Dark Times for Bougainville – John Momis makes Donald Trump look competent

Bougainville govt’s forthright support for BCL at Panguna

Tobias | July 1, 2017

If you didn’t laugh, you would cry.

President Momis: ‘BCL has the first right of refusal. If we didn’t give it to them and set a time frame within which to source funding then BCL might take us to court and thus delay the opening of the Panguna Mine.’

Don Wiseman: Hang on mate, you evidently own BCL, you cant sue yourself.

President Momis: ‘Well we may now control BCL but the original agreement, concocted in Australia by the colonial government and Rio Tinto’.

So what the Colonial Government will be resurrected, via a time portal, and will join forces with Rio Tinto to sue.

This is the man who is going to oversee the referendum.

Lord Save Us!

John Momis continues: ‘a dollar invested in mining produces three dollars in other associated industries’.

LOL this is actually the opposite of what happens, in a mining dependent economy. Has the good President heard of the Dutch Disease, hint its nothing to do with the Netherlands.

Then this: ‘If nothing happens then the whole of Bougainville will not benefit but the worst losers will be the landowners themselves’.

Yes horror. If the ABG and a few non landowner associations are unable to push their agenda on the majority actual landowners, the latter will be able to enjoy their land, environment and sovereignty. Who knows their children may even have a future. Clear losing.

Dark times, with this captain at the helm – makes Donald Trump look competent.

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Bougainville govt’s forthright support for BCL at Panguna

President of the autonomous Bougainville government, John Momis. Photo: RNZI

Dateline Pacific | Radio New Zealand | 30 June, 2017

The Bougainville Government says it won’t give way to a landowner group that says it will not allow Bougainville Copper Ltd, or BCL, to return to the troubled Panguna mine.

The autonomous government wants the mine re-opened to boost the economy ahead of the vote on independence from Papua New Guinea set for 2019.

But the chairman of the Special Mining Lease Osikaiyang Landowners Association, Philip Miriori, is adamant they will not allow BCL to return, though they are keen to see the mine opened, using an Australian company they have aligned with, called RTG.

However Bougainville President John Momis says the government is not about to let a company with no track record mine at Panguna.  

JOHN MOMIS: RTG doesn’t have any money. The RTG representative in fact, a fellow by the name of Renzie Duncan has Philip Miriori and a few of his cobbers on his payroll and their intention is to get the support of the landowners and the ABG and as a speculator go and find a developer. RTG itself as a company does not have the money.

DON WISEMAN: BCL doesn’t have any money either does it?

JM: BCL doesn’t have any money but BCL has the data. BCL has the first right of refusal. If we didn’t give it to them and set a time frame within which to source funding then BCL might take us to court and thus delay the opening of the Panguna Mine. If they fail to secure the necessary funds then we have the liberty to invite anyone else. But we can’t just give it to somebody, a company that has no standing, no track record, such as RTG. 

DW: Well I don’t think that is true. RTG has run mines. The thing with BCL and whether they are going to take Bougainville to court, well, that is not going to happen, is it, since Bougainville is effectively controlling BCL now?

JM: Well we may now control BCL but the original agreement, concocted in Australia by the colonial government and Rio Tinto.

DW: But they are not in the picture any more are they?

JM: They are not in the picture but the agreement itself is still valid.

DW: Is not the critical thing and you have told me this on a number of occasions. The critical thing is that you get the mine operating as soon as possible – the quickest way of doing that would be to accede to the demands of the landowner group that lives or owns the land right at the Panguna mine site?

JM: Philip Miriori’s SML landowners is just one out of nine landowner groups. Eight out of nine support ABG and BCL to open the mine, because ABG has shares in the mine. Although the amount of money is not much but ABG as we have been telling people Rio Tinto is no longer the devil we knew. Now the devil we own as such will be operating under our law. Eight out of the nine landowners support ABG.

DW: Yet you has an attempt to sign this memorandum of agreement the Friday before last and it was unsuccessful. Raymond Masono [Vice President of Bougainville] said last week he was going to give those people two weeks to sort themselves out – his words – but they seem very adamant so do you think you can bridge the gap here?

JM: Well the ABG has told the landowners the onus is on you to sort yourselves out to reach an agreement and we are giving them two weeks. And we know for a fact that most of the landowners are in support – it is just Philip Miriori and his group who are on the payroll of Renzie Duncan. This could be interpreted as bribery as you know.

DW: Well they might say the same in a way. The thing is I guess, they end up being the pivotal landowner group, or that seems to be the way they see it.

JM: If the eight go against the SML landowners [Miriori’s group] nothing will happen. If nothing happens then the whole of Bougainville will not benefit but the worst losers will be the landowners themselves. The ABG as the government has the perspective of making sure that we get the best interests of all the people, all the landowners, as well as all Bougainville. Whereas the SML people are just looking at their own selfish, legal interest and they are causing trouble. But we are not going to allow this to keep happening this way because it is time people put aside their selfish interests and worked for the common good of the people of Bougainville, which the government represents.

DW: Well their comeback to that is going to be that as landowners they control, as per the Mining Law, they control what is beneath the surface.

JM: That’s right but the ABG is also a major stake holder and without ABG’s approval nothing happens.

DW: The ABG has talked about mining in other areas. Have you gone any further with that?

JM: I am not sure what the Department of Mining is doing, but as you know they applied for exploration licences and they given and now I guess it is up to the companies which applied to find the funds which are necessary to carry out the exploration.

DW: Do you know whether there is outside interest in doing that?

JM: Toremana – a Western Australian company is interested there with the landowners in the Tinputz area, not far from Buka. But the other one is Isina, that is Sam Kauona and his people and they have been granted the exploration licence and I presume they’re working to either find partners or find the money themselves to do the exploration.

DW: So in terms of resolving these issues and getting a viable economy, or getting things starting to happen over the next couple of years, how confident are you at this point?

JM: Well I think everybody knows that fiscal self-reliance is one of the most important benchmarks that will be taken into account after the outcome of the referendum – by the national government, by the UN and the international community and I think people know that, so they are working hard now to ensure that we reach a consensus to open the mine. Apart from other, agricultural and fisheries businesses, believe that the Panguna mine is probably the best, quickest way of generating revenue because a dollar invested in mining produces three dollars in other associated industries – that’s agriculture or other businesses.      

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Renzie Duncan and Philip Miriori team up in another illegal Bougainville venture

PNGExposed | June 28, 2017

Sydney lawyer and mining venture capitalist, Renzie Duncan, is on the prowl again for Bougainville’s mineral wealth, with his old friend Philip Miriori,  the scandal-plagued, self-appointed head of the Me’ekamui Tribal Government. 

This time its through Central Me’ekamui Exploration Limited, which is in partnership with Australian mining firm RTG Mining.

Company extracts indicate that Central Me’ekamui Exploration Limited, despite its very local name, is in fact a foreign enterprise.

This assertion is based on the fact it is 50% owned by Australian company, Central Exploration Pty Ltd. 

Central Exploration Pty Ltd’s thriving head office is 266 Burns Bay Road, Lane Cove, New South Wales, Australia. This leafy address on Sydney’s north shore, is also the registered home address for Renzie Duncan.

Under the Investment Promotion Act 1992, a company which is 50% owned by a foreign entity is deemed a foreign enterprise and must apply for certification to conduct business in Papua New Guinea.

Section 41 of the Investment Promotion Act 1992 states it is an offence to carry on business without certification, punishable by a K100,000 fine. 

There is no record with the Investment Promotion Authority that Central Me’ekamui Exploration Limited has applied for certification, despite the fact it has been clearly conducting business with RTG Mining.

However, this is not the first time Duncan, Miriori and the other Central Exploration Director, Michael Etheridge, have conducted business in Bougainville. 

The last time it was through Transpacific Ventures Limited.

In that case Transpacific Ventures informed investors:

‘In the past 12 months, TPV has negotiated and signed an Agreement (the “Cairns Agreement”) with the Sovereign Me’ekamui Tribal Government on an exclusive basis for 20 years, renewable, to advise customary landowners (the Me’ekamui) in developing their natural resources sector, including potential oil and gas, on the island of Bougainville, PNG and surrounding atolls and marine territories, and to participate with the Me’ekamui in such development and other business opportunities’.

Yes, that’s right, Philip Mioriri and his self-styled tribal government proposed to sign away the natural resources, landed and marine, across Bougainville. Clearly, he had no right to, and Transpacific Ventures had no legal business publishing this information to investors.

Of course the claim by President Momis that RTG mining ‘doesn’t have any money’, is rather ironic given that his preferred operator, BCL, cant even afford permanent staff – and has no means whatsoever to raise the sort of capital to develop Panguna.

But the core point all this squabbling between various minority interests distracts from is this – 98% of the people in and around Panguna oppose mining, under any industrial guise. They have suffered the environment and human loss.

The ordinary people – real landowners – don’t have government support, nor do they have access to the internet or media. Their voice is unheard, except when they protest and resist.

The re-entry of Duncan and Mirori, will be cynically used by the government to label all landowner resistance, simply a plot to bring in an alternative developer by the backdoor. If this is argued, it is a lie.

Landowners throughout the mine area remain opposed, like they have since 1963, when the first rumblings of Panguna began. Journalists will not report this. They don’t leave their offices, much less speak with someone who cant reply in english.

On the rare occasions they do leave their office, they knock on the door of Lawrence Daveona, Philip Mioriori and other individuals, who falsely claiming they somehow speak for all landowners, which they don’t. Of course the colonial powers did this back in the 1960s. Some poor old man, was wielded out to say yes, while the mothers cried no.

History has been a cruel teacher, it is unlikely the mothers of the land will allow the bulldozers through this time.

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Filed under Corruption, Financial returns, Human rights, Mine construction, Papua New Guinea

RTG in fresh bid to get Panguna running

RTG Mining has put its hand up to be involved in the redevelopment of the massive Panguna copper-gold mine in Bougainville.

Kristie Batten | PNG Industry News | 28 June, 2017 

RTG confirmed that it had joined a consortium comprising the Special Mining Lease Osikaiyang Landowners Association (SMLOLA) and Central Exploration.

The company has paid US$750,000 for a minority stake in Central. 

The SMLOLA owns the minerals within the old Panguna mine and control the land.

The autonomous Bougainville government (ABG) owns a controlling stake in ASX-listed Bougainville Copper (BCL) after being gifted shares by former major shareholder Rio Tinto last year.

The ABG supports BCL’s plans to redevelop the abandoned mine.

According to Radio New Zealand, a protest by local landowners last week prevented the ABG from signing a memorandum of understanding with other landowners last week.

The SMLOLA is not prepared to grant access to the land to BCL.

RTG has agreed to partner SMLOLA in its proposed Panguna redevelopment if the proposal is successful.

SMLOLA is seeking to redevelop the mine in stages, starting with an initial 15 million tonne per annum plant.

RTG said there were strong parallels between the proposed redevelopment and the redevelopment of the Masbate gold mine in the Philippines, which was completed by the RTG management team.

RTG’s primary focus to date has been the Mabilo copper-gold project in the Philippines.

The company said its three largest shareholders are backing the proposed Panguna development.

Panguna has been suspended since 1989 due to the outbreak of civil war in Bougainville.

BCL has not had access to the mine since, and the company and Rio have faced allegations and lawsuits regarding their involvement in the conflict, as well as environmental damage.

BCL plans to spend more than $A100 million on feasibility studies and potentially introduce a new strategic partner.

A 2016 order of magnitude study considered a 60 million tonne per annum operation, with a possible expansion to 90Mtpa.

Under that scenario, capital costs would be $US6 billion for a 24-year mine starting in 2027. 

The expansion would cost a further $1 billion.

At the end of 2015, Panguna had resources of 1.8 billion tonnes at 0.3% copper and 0.34 grams per tonne gold for 5.3 million tonnes of copper and 19.3 million ounces of gold.

On the announcement, RTG shares jumped by 21% to A17c, capitalising the company at $28.5 million. At BCL’s last price of 33c, it had a market capitalisation of just over $130 million.

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RTG Joins Landowner Backed Consortium Proposal for Copper-Gold Panguna Project in Bougainville

RTG Mining | Stockhouse | 26 June, 2017

RTG Joins Landowner Backed Consortium Proposal in Respect of the Copper-Gold Panguna Project in Bougainville – Announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange and Toronto Stock Exchange

RTG Mining Inc. confirms recent press statements that it has been nominated as the development partner with the joint venture company of the Special Mining Lease Osikaiyang Landowners Association (“SMLOLA”) and Central Exploration Pty Ltd (“Central”) in their proposal with respect to the redevelopment of the 1.5B tonne Copper-Gold Panguna Project located in the Central Region of the island of Bougainville, within the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea (“PNG”). RTG has subscribed US$0.75M into Central for a minority position in Central.  The proposal being led by the SMLOLA is a landowner initiative and will be subject to the success or otherwise of the SMLOLA in securing a role in the redevelopment of the mine.

This proposal is also, ultimately conditional upon the support of the Autonomous Bougainville Government (“ABG”) and others. RTG appreciates the trust and support the SMLOLA has shown the Company, recognising the community engagement track record and the development experience of the RTG management team, having successfully developed seven new mines in five different countries. RTG makes no representation that the SMLOLA led consortium proposal will be successful.  Both the show cause notice issued by the ABG to Bougainville Copper Limited (“BCL”) in connection with the previous exploration permit, which expired in September 2016 and the application for extension of the term of the licence are still under review by the ABG.  The ABG has expressed its support for BCL

The members of the SMLOLA are the owners of the customary land which is the subject of the old BCL operated Panguna open pit mine area.  In implementing the Bougainville Peace Agreement, a change in the mining law in 2014 resulted in the PNG ownership of mineral rights being expunged and the customary landowners becoming owners of the minerals within their land.  Accordingly, the SMLOLA own the minerals of the old Panguna Mine and are in control of access to their land, namely the Panguna pit.  The SMLOLA has stated that it will not grant access to their lands to BCL, a position they have held and expressed for an extended period of time. The Autonomous Region of Bougainville has gone through transformative changes over the last couple of years and has recognised the reopening of the Panguna Mine is an important economic initiative for all Bougainvilleans, which is supported strongly by the SMLOLA.

RTG will fully respect any rights of BCL and has agreed to act as the development partner should the SMLOLA be successful in their proposal.  RTG believes that the SMLOLA led consortium could provide a constructive and valuable contribution to resolving outstanding issues between all parties, with their proposal including the development of Panguna on a staged basis, starting at an initial targeted 15Mtpa plant size before then optimising the processing plant, subject to completion of a Feasiblity Study.  This will enhance the prospects of a successful referendum on Independence for Bougainville and much earlier access to financial rewards for all Bougainvilleans. There are strong parallels between this proposal and the redevelopment of the Masbate Gold Mine in the Phillipines, which was successfully developed by the RTG Management team.  The proposal also includes a Bougainville Redevelopment Fund to assist the landowners and ABG in implementing much needed social and infrastructure programs to enhance the livelihoods of all those in and around Panguna.

RTG’s three largest long term shareholders, whose publicly reported parent company net worth is in the order of US$30 billion, have expressed support for entering into the Panguna redevelopment proposal should it be successful.

ABOUT RTG MINING INC

RTG Mining Inc. is a mining and exploration company listed on the main board of the Toronto Stock Exchange and Australian Securities Exchange.  RTG is focused on developing the high grade copper/gold/magnetite Mabilo Project and advancing exploration on the highly prospective Bunawan Project, both in the Philippines, while also identifying major new projects which will allow the Company to move quickly and safely to production.

RTG has an experienced management team (previously responsible for the development of the Masbate Gold Mine in the Philippines through CGA Mining Limited), and has B2Gold as one of its major shareholders in the Company. B2Gold is a member of both the S&P/TSX Global Gold and Global Mining Indices.

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