Tag Archives: Philip Miriori

All Panguna Mine Landowners United In Opposing BMA

Post Courier | February 25, 2019

The customary landowners from all mine affected areas in and around Panguna – not just the pit area – are 100% united in opposing the controversial draft Bills to change the Bougainville Mining Act (BMA).

The draft Bills would see their rights been stripped, leaving them to try and negotiate with their own Government many years down the track, after they have given up all their rights and ownership of minerals.

Special Mining Lease Osikaiyang Landowners Association Inc chairman Philip Miriori said: “All we are vaguely promised is some form of compensation once mining activity commences.

“Who would do that, give up everything with no deal to look after our people.

“Can you imagine, at that point it will be like us negotiating with Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) again. They will have all the power and we will have none.” He added that this is why they are all united against these changes to the BMA and the architect of this fraudulent attempt to steal from us.

A formal Petition has been signed by all nine landowner associations representing all the land that was impacted in the original Rio Tinto – BCL – Panguna Mine, which operated from 1972-1989.

The mine halted production when Rio Tinto and its subsidiary BCL lost the support of the Panguna landowners and the community.

“We all know what that led to. The Autonomous Bougainville Government is contemplating transferring the control of the Panguna Mine to an unknown Australian entrepreneur who claims he will raise $6 billion for Panguna, when he has never built or run a mine ever before,” Mr Miriori said.

The petition draws the attention of the ABG to no fewer than nine what landowners alleged to be materially false claims of the proposal.

Mr Miriori said the most fatal being the claim of a “permanent 60%” interest for the ABG. “It is ludicrous and simply impossible…he wants us to believe investors will put in 100% of the capital.

They say US$6 billion for 40% of the profits, this is impossible, he added.

SMLOLA special adviser Lawrence Daveona said Rio Tinto had to walk away from Panguna because they lost the support of the community.

“This petition confirms every single member of the Panguna Landowner Association opposes the proposal,” Mr Daveona said.

The signed resolution calls for the immediate withdrawal of the Bill to change the BMA and to try and stop further damage being done to their reputation internationally, Mr Daveona added.

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Bougainville Landowners Call On Momis For Protection

People on Bougainville want protection from Jeff McGlinn and his ‘draconian changes’ to resource ownership laws

Post Courier | February 22, 2019

Landowners throughout Bougainville are today calling on President John Momis for protection from a “callous opportunist.”

The landowners said that the customary laws of Bougainville and the basic human rights of landowners cannot be ignored.

A secret presentation, by an Australian, Jeff McGlinn, which was marked “strictly confidential, not for distribution” has just become public.

It evidences the unconscionable demand to strip landowners of all their rights under the Bougainville Mining Act.

McGlinn’s demand for these wholesale and draconian changes, is so that he can secure a complete monopoly over all large scale mines on Bougainville, including Panguna, without following the due processes of law, including the mandated Free Prior and Informed Consent of Landowners.

Panguna landowner Philip Miriori said: “The McGlinn draft Bills, which would strip landowners of all their rights, were actually drafted by McGlinn’s lawyers. It is completely unacceptable.

“We cannot allow foreigners to draft our laws, tearing up our entire Bougainville Mining Act, and all its safeguards, just so that he and his small group of insiders, including ex PNG Defence personnel can profit personally from our lands and our struggle.”

Mr Daveona said: “The Landowners of Bougainville call on President Momis to protect them, by immediately withdrawing these deeply offensive McGlinn drafted Bills.

There has been no prior opportunity for consultation. Anyone who has bothered to even read a little of the history of Bougainville, would understand that the Bougainville Conflict was a plea for better mining practices and the recognition of the rights of Customary Landowners.”

Mr Miriori said it would be difficult to think of something more deeply disrespectful and insensitive to landowners and the community generally than the demands of McGlinn.

“This comes at the very time the community is focused on continuing to build peace and reconciliation in the lead up to the referendum on independence. “Unreasonable, unconscionable and unconstitutional. If passed they will be challenged and Panguna is delayed indefinitely. Nobody wins – in fact we all lose. The general feeling about the amendment, from the 500 people who attended, was that no one agreed with it and those present were asking the ABG members to do away with the amendment immediately.

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CONTROVERSIAL MINING DEAL THREATENS BOUGAINVILLE UNITY AND REFERENDUM

Politicians with military background and connections get mixed up in a mining bid Arawa, Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea

Chris Baria | February 11, 2019

There is a public outcry in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, over the introduction of three controversial mining bills including a bill to make amendments to the current Bougainville Mining Act (BMA) 2015, which ostensibly will strip the landowners of their rights and ownership of the mineral resources, whilst bypassing safeguards, protections, procedures for the landowners.

The amendment bill is also said to contravene Sections 23 and 24 of the Bougainville Constitution that protects rights of Bougainvilleans and recognizes traditional and customary laws and leadership in the mine affected communities. The Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) President John Momis has been convinced by Jeffery McGlinn a little known Australian businessman whose business appears to be dealing in heavy equipment for the mining industry and breeding exotic horse breeds. 

The lack of substantial experience of Mr McGlinn in mining industry has not deterred President Momis from giving his full blessings to a mining proposal by Mr McGlinn’s mining company“Caballus” recently registered in the British Virgin Islands. The proposal which is over simplistic and unrealistic includes the draconian amendments to the BMA and the establishment of a “Special Mining Entity” which has been named “Bougainville Advance Mining” (BAM) and the establishment of “Bougainville Advance Trust Holdings” which will take charge of revenue earned from mining.

What is disturbing about the whole affair is this:

1. Proper Parliamentary procedures and mining requirements were not met by the President and ABG to accept the Caballus as a partner in a mining company, BAM which also has been registered by Jeffery McGlinn already.

2. No consultations with landowners were sought to satisfy the “free, prior, informed consent” (FPIC) which has become a standard requirement in the establishment of any large extraction industry. Instead the proposals by Jeffery McGlinn were bulldozed through and bills are now at first reading with everything happening so fast. 

3. ABG and President Momis wrongly believe that that the USD$150m that Caballus would raise if its proposal was given the nod would go to ABG as spending money for referendum and other matters. However, these according to Jeffery McGlinn are what start up costs amount to and first part of it would be expended on several due diligences studies on the mineral asset at Panguna. 

4. The proposal by Jeffery McGlinn bears uncanny resemblance and appears to be a blueprint of a leaked document purportedly written for ABG by former Australian Defence Minister David Johnston who is also Western Australian like Jeffery McGlinn. Shortly, after receiving the report, President Momis cancelled BCL’s renewed bid to obtain mining licenses to reopen Panguna because according the report by Johnston which was written in 2017 “BCL had lost it’s social license”.

All in all, there appears to be a serious breach of the Bougainville Peace Agreement by meddlesome politicians Belden Namah connected with Caballus and former Australian Defense Minister, David Johnston, both with military background, according to some may well be acting in the interest of their respective governments in a deliberate attempt to undermine Bougainville’s referendum and it’s bid to gain independence from Papua New Guinea.

David Johnstone is currently the Chairman of Kalia Mining Limited which is carrying out mineral explorations at Mt Tore also in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

The move by Momis to install Caballus as a partner in a“pre-fabricated” mining company which is to be authorized through bills drafted on Australian soil by lawyers for Caballus has taken many ordinary ABG members by surprise and shocked by Mr McGlinn’s presence in the chamber which is out of bounds to foreigners and business dealings.

Members of ABG stand divided over mining issues centred around Caballus, with some members furious over what they view as attempts to amend BMA 2015 for Caballus’ own interests.

The Chairman of Panguna Special Mining Lease Osikaiyang (SMLOLA), Mr. Phillip Miriori has called on both Australian and Papua New Guinea governments to allow the due processes set out in the Bougainville Peace Agreement to achieve their aims and goals of peace, unity and security in the region by not allowing corporate interests in mining and other resource extraction to interfere with such processes by dividing up the people through payment of bribes and accosting ex-combatant support with a view to suppress ordinary people’s right to speak out and exercise their rights.

“We are not opposed to investors seeking investment opportunities here but they must abide by our laws and show respect to our government and not try to manipulate our laws to suit their own interests”, Mr Miriori said.

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Miriori fires broadside at ‘rogue’ Bougainville mining rights bid

The Bougainville Civil War caused incredible devastation and loss, including this picture taken at the ruins of Arawa Hospital in 1997. Photo: AFP

Asia Pacific Report | Pacific Media Centre | February 9, 2019

A highly controversial proposal by an unknown and newly registered company, Caballus Mining, is attempting to grab a monopoly over all large scale mines in Bougainville, reports PNG Mine Watch.

It is alleged that the Caballus plan is to override the fundamental principle of the Bougainville Mining Act – Customary Landowner ownership of the minerals in Bougainville and confer ownership on a McGlinn entity, Bougainville Advance Mining (BAM).

“Are Caballus the next rogue that is trying to take advantage of us, the customary owners and steal our minerals?” asked Philip Miriori, chairman of the Special Mining Lease Osikaiyang Landowners Association (SMLOLA).

Miriori claimed Caballus had no relevant mine development experience.

“Caballus has no assets, and yet is demanding a monopoly on all major large scale mining projects in Bougainville.

“They are demanding an initial 40 percent interest, which will increase further over time, without any upfront cash and only a shallow promise of future money if he is granted those rights first.”

Miriori said that when Caballus was presented to representatives of SMLOLA earlier last year, they were officially rejected in writing.

Clear position
“This is where it gets confusing as despite that clear position from the owners of the minerals at Panguna, Caballus is now demanding that the most fundamental principle of the Bougainville Mining Act (BMA) – customary ownership will now be stripped from the BMA.”

SMLOLA special adviser Lawrence Daveona said that by avoiding all the protection afforded to them under the BMA, which is fundamental to the Peace Agreement and the Bougainville constitution – “in fact the very grant of autonomy”, they would be stripped of their rights.

“The central tenant of our Peace Agreement is good governance.

“We will fight this to the end and hope our ABG will step in first and protect all customary owners in Bougainville.”

Miriori said it appeared some people were trying to take advantage of a severe funding crisis which their government faced in the lead up to the referendum on Bougainville this year. They were promising money but only if they were first given the keys to every large scale mine in Bougainville with zero up-front investment – “unbelievable”.

“Whoever puts up the money will ultimately control BAM, and all of Bougainville’s mines.”

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Miriori Fires Broadside At Mining Company

PHOTO: Philip Miriori’s Me’ekamui group has entered into a joint venture with RTG mining. (ABC News: Eric Tlozek)

Post Courier | February 7, 2019

A highly controversial proposal by an unknown and newly registered company, Caballus Mining is attempting to grab a complete monopoly over all large scale mines in Bougainville.

It is alleged that the Caballus plan is to override the fundamental principle of the Bougainville Mining Act – Customary Landowner ownership of the minerals in Bougainville and confer ownership on a McGlinn entity, Bougainville Advance Mining (BAM).

“Are Caballus the next rogue that is trying to take advantage of us, the customary owners and steal our minerals?” questioned Mr Philip Miriori, chairman of the Special Mining Lease Osikaiyang Landowners Association (SMLOLA).

Mr Miriori further claimed that Caballus have no relevant mine development experience whatsoever.

“Caballus has no assets, and yet is demanding a monopoly on all major large scale mining projects in Bougainville.

“They are demanding an initial 40% interest, which will increase further over time, without any upfront cash and only a shallow promise of future money if he is granted those rights first.”

Mr Miriori said that when Caballus was presented to representatives of SMLOLA earlier last year, they were officially rejected in writing.

“This is where it gets confusing as despite that clear position from the owners of the minerals at Panguna, Caballus is now demanding that the most fundamental principle of the Bougainville Mining Act (BMA) – customary ownership will now be stripped from the BMA.”

SMLOLA special adviser Lawrence Daveona said by avoiding all the protection afforded to them under the BMA, which is fundamental to the whole peace agreement and their constitution, in fact the very grant of autonomy…it will strip them off their rights.

“The central tenant of our Peace Agreement is good governance.

“We will fight this to the end and hope our ABG will step in first and protect all customary owners in Bougainville.”

Mr Miriori said it appears some people are trying to take advantage of a severe funding crisis which their government faces in the lead up to the referendum on Bougainville so are promising money but only if they are first given the keys to every large scale mine in Bougainville with zero up-front investment…is unbelievable.

“Whoever puts up the money will ultimately control BAM, and all of Bougainville’s mines.”

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Bougainville mining plan meets with outrage

An abandoned building at Panguna mine site in Bougainville

Radio New Zealand | February 5, 2019

Landowners near the Panguna mine in Papua New Guinea’s Bougainville region have voiced outrage at the local government’s new mining plan.

The autonomous government of Bougainville is planning to re-open the long shut Panguna copper mine and operate it with a company majority owned by Bougainville.

It is expected to pass amendments to the Mining Act to accommodate the Australian investor who will jointly own Bougainville Advance Mining.

The plan comes after squabbling over who should get the licence for the Panguna mine, followed by a government moratorium on any Panguna development because it could undermine the referendum on independence from Papua New Guinea, planned for June of this year.

Describing the deal as the best for landowners, Bougainville President John Momis said existing companies already mining in Bougainville doing were “not affected by this new deal”.

He explained that with PNG’s central government failing to fund Bougainville ahead of the referendum, the government decided to take urgent action to find money.

Caballus Mining, owned by West Australian businessman Jeff McGlinn, has no public profile in the industry.

This is of concern to the Osikaiyang Landowners Association, whose chairman, Philip Miriori, raised questions over the viability of finance for Caballus’ plans.

“Caballus has no assets, and yet is demanding a monopoly on all major large scale mining projects in Bougainville.

“McGlinn is demanding an initial 40% percent interest, which will increase further over time, without any upfront cash and only a shallow promise of future money if he is granted those rights first.

“This is just a con job,” Mr Miriori said, adding that Mr McGlinn’s track record with indigenous people, and stand on customary rights, made him ill-equipped to gain a social license for his Bougainville plans.

Public disapproval

The new plan has thrown a cat amongst the pigeons in Bougainville public discourse in this important year.

A public forum to discuss the issue washeld in Arawa on Sunday highlighted general community outrage over a move to change Bougainville’s laws in order to expedite the new mining development.

The Bougainville Advance Mining Holdings Trust Authorisation Bill, the Bougainville Advance Mining Holdings Limited Authorisation Bill, and a Bill to amend the Bougainville Mining Act 2015, have all gone through first reading.

At the forum, the Chairman of the Bougainville Hardliners Group which is opposed to any form of large scale mining, called on the Bougainville government and general public to fund the referendum from their own pockets by donating twenty kina each meet referendum expenses.

“Lets show Papua New Guinea that we are independent by funding our referendum”, he said.

At the end of the meeting a resolution was passed to lobby to block the bills from being finally passed in by the government.

Former mine operator worried

In a statement, Bougainville Copper Limited said the new developments raised “very legitimate legal, constitutional and ethical questions”.

“Not only by BCL and its shareholders, but also by landowners in Bougainville and others in the community. More widely these bills could also be interpreted as both anti-competitive and anti-investment which is the last thing Bougainville needs.”

BCL ran Panguna until the outbreak of civil war in 1989 in which grievances caused by the mine were central to the 10 year conflict that cost over 20,000 lives

Mr Momis had placed an indefinite moratorium on mining at Panguna after landowners opposed the return of BCL.

The landowners said BCL would not take responsibility for the environmental and social impacts of its previous operation.

However BCL said the Bougainville Mining Act 2015 did not need to be modified.

“Bougainville introduced good laws and regulations in 2015 designed to rebalance Bougainville’s mineral rights after a long period of consultation with all stakeholders. Now those rights are being undermined in haste by these proposed changes. Any genuine investor worth its mettle should be able to work within the existing laws.”

The bills are to be further read by the local parliament on 12 February.

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No end to landowner squabbling at Bougainville’s Panguna

Radio New Zealand | January 21, 2019

Landowners near the long-closed Panguna mine in the Papua New Guinea region of Bougainville continue to scrap over who the legitimate owner is.

Earlier this month the group, the Osikaiyang Landowners Association, announced it had achieved unity at its annual meeting in December.

Leader Philip Miriori said they now have a board representing seven villages in the Panguna area and have included youth and women members.

But the rival Panguna Developments Company said Osikaiyang doesn’t have the right to represent all the landowners and says it doesn’t have any status under the Bougainville Mining Act.

It also said Osikaiyang cannot claim to own the mineral rights at Panguna as its business associate, Australian mining company, RTG, claims on its web page.

The Panguna Developments Company has links to Bougainville Copper Ltd which is also endeavouring to return to mining at Panguna.

But a year ago, fearing the mine issue would undermine the independence referendum, the autonomous Bougainville government announced an indefinite moratorium on a possible return to mining there.

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