Post Courier | June 18, 2019
The Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) Executive Council were allegedly misled at the time it resolved to support the developers proposal and consequential mass amendments demanded to the Bougainville Mining Act (BMA).
The Explanatory Memorandum that has emerged, long after the fact, claims in its first two principal reasons, that developer has developed and operated some of the largest mines in the world.
It now turns out that neither reason advanced was correct.
The truth is starkly different – the developer in question has never financed, developed or operated a large mine, to say nothing of the largest mines in the world.
Philip Miriori the Chairman of Panguna landowner company, Special Mining Lease Osikaiyang Landowners Association (SMLOLA), indicated that, had the amending legislation passed, Bougainville would have given away a 4o per cent interest in Panguna and a monopoly over all large scale mining projects in Bougainville, to a person who does not have the relevant skills to finance, build and operate a mine like Panguna or help the ABG.
“The third reason advanced was even more false and misleading, as it claimed that the developer had also raised billions of dollars and so will raise all the money for Panguna for the ABG.
“The developer obviously has not raised billions of dollars as claimed, in fact he has only ever done one public company capital raising of a very modest US$30m, again more than a decade ago.
“So the three key reasons the BEC resolved to support the developer, that he had financed, developed and operated the largest mines in the world.
“And put forward the proposed changes to the BMA, which have now been rejected by the Legislative Review Committee because they were all grossly false and designed to deceive all of us here in Bougainville,” he said.
SMLOLA consultant Lawrence Daveona said the scenario suggest to us is that we all need to sit down collectively and find a workable solution.
“This is a solution that can actually be delivered and will allow us to finally move forward with the redevelopment of Panguna to eventually see all of Bougainville prosper,” he said.