Tag Archives: RTG Mining

Bougainville President launches stinging attack on RTG

A lake in the pit of the long defunct Panguna mine in Bougainville. Photo: http://www.travelinspired.co.nz

President John Momis is stinging in his criticism of RTG Mining but the same critique surely applies equally to his own preferred option, Caballus Mining, and the previous horse he backed, BCL…

Radio New Zealand |19 March 2019 

The government in the autonomous Papua New Guinea region of Bougainville has dashed any hope it would work with the Australian miner, RTG, accusing the company of bribery.

The Bougainville government and RTG are promoting unrelated schemes to re-open the Panguna mine.

After a meeting between the two parties earlier this month, RTG’s chairman Michael Garrick felt they got a good hearing and there was a chance they’d work together in re-developing Panguna.

But Bougainville President John Momis said his government is emphatically rejecting the offer, and accuses the company of insensitivity and disregard for the customs, culture and sacrifice of all the people of Bougainville.

He said RTG’s achievements as a miner are limited and investors have no faith in its ability to deliver.

Granting a mining lease to RTG would pose an intolerable risk, Mr Momis said.

Mr Momis said payments and loans the government understands that RTG gave to members of one particular group of landowners, the Special Mining Lease Osikaiang Landowners Authority, constitute bribery, as do similar offers made to his government during the recent meeting.

Relevant agencies in PNG and Australia would be notified, he said.

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PNG minister issues warning over Panguna re-opening

Radio New Zealand | 18 March 2019

Papua New Guinea’s minister of Bougainville Affairs, William Samb, has called on the Bougainville government to forget about talking to investors in the Panguna mine until after the referendum on independence.

New Dawn FM reported Mr Samb was speaking during a Bougainville government roadshow around Bougainville that is explaining the referendum process.

His comments came after the government unveiled controversial plans to start its own company to re-open the mine, teaming up with a newly set up Australian company.

This has riled at least two other foreign investors who had been planning similar moves.

A year ago the government had declared a moratorium on opening Panguna but changed tack suddenly in January, saying it needed to open the mine to stimulate the economy ahead of the referendum vote in October.

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ABG rejects RTG Panguna proposal

The Panguna mine is one of the world’s biggest copper mines. (AAP Image: Ilya Gridneff)

12 March 2019

RTG Mining has announced the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) has rejected a proposal to reopen the Panguna mine.

RTG’s proposal was backed by the Special Mining Lease Osikaiyang Landowners Association (SMLOLA) whose members are the Customary Owners of the land and mineral resources of the Panguna Mine (the area of the old EL 01)

RTG says it will now will consult with SMLOLA as to the steps to be taken in respect of this development.

Meanwhile, the ABG is pursuing its own mining plans with Australian Jeff McGlinn and Caballus Mining.

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Bougainville’s Momis says mining opponents are lying

Autonomous Bougainville Government President John Momis.

Radio New Zealand | 12 March 2019

The President of Bougainville says landowners who criticise the government’s proposed mining law changes have been misled.

The president announced plans for sweeping changes to the mining law in January, as the government sought money to help pay for the region’s referendum on independence from Papua New Guinea.

It has been criticised by landowning groups and human rights organisations but John Momis says these people have been misled by mining companies and others who want their own deals.

Mr Momis said the new law would greatly increase returns for landowners, earning them much more than the current measure which only guarantees their ownership of the minerals while they are in the ground.

“Under our proposal they own the resources, unextracted or extracted, and based on the known ore body we can raise the money ourselves.”

The mining law change would also see the government set up its own joint venture with an Australian entity, called Caballus.

The joint venture, to be known as Bougainville Advance Mining , would aim to re-open the huge and controversial Panguna mine.

The Bougainville referendum is set to be held in mid October.

Bougainville to go ahead with controversial law rewrite

Radio New Zealand | 12 March 2019

The Bougainville Government remains committed to rewriting the autonomous Papua New Guinea region’s mining law.

President John Momis says critics of the move are lying.

He says the new law would mean landowners retain ownership of the minerals after mining, making the benefits they receive much greater.

In January Mr Momis announced plans to change the law and team up with an Australian businessman, Jeff McGlinn, forming a company called Caballus.

It sparked an outcry but as Mr Momis told Don Wiseman his government is undeterred.

TRANSCRIPT

JOHN MOMIS: That will enable us to find a developer or investor to come in a joint venture with us, on the basis that we don’t pay anything because the Panguna ore body is a known ore body. It’s 65 billion kina worth. It’s known. And there’s only one Panguna mine – that’s excluding the Seven other Sisters. There are many companies in the world, if we gave them the mining licence they would go and raise money based on the value of this ore body. We, the landowners, will raise that, raise the money ourselves.

DON WISEMAN: yes but some of the key landowners say they are being shut out of this whole process.

JM: That’s not true. They are being lied to by RTG [Australian mining company] and others. Under the current mining law, which is better than the national mining law, the landowners only own the resource as long as it’s in the ground. Unextracted. Once it’s extracted the developer takes over and the landowner only gets five percent. If they wish to increase their share they can only increase it by another five percent, which they have to purchase. Under our proposal they own the resources, unextracted or extracted, and based on the known ore body we can raise the money ourselves.

DW: There has been criticism of your changes to this mining act. You clearly need to sell it more around Bougainville.

JM: That’s right, yes. I admit that our people made a mistake of not conducting a proper presentation, which they have subsequently done, and many people have seen and are saying, well, this is the best we have. We have – this week actually – while I am on the roadshow with the UN Nations Resident Co-ordinator and the Minister for Bougainville Affairs, we are going on a weeklong roadshow, our ministers will be conducting awareness amongst the members and others. We are very confident, once people understand. They have been misled or told that we are going to take everything away from the landowners. It’s nonsensical. in fact under our mining law they don’t even have to pay for their share because it’s their resource.

DW: Jeff McGlinn, though, he is not someone with a direct involvement in mining is he. I know he is involved in mining machinery and so on, but he’s not a miner.

JM: He’s not a miner, but there are mining companies in the world, we can hire the experts. I think it’s 65 billion US dollars worth of ore in the pit, the current Panguna pit, mineable over 27 years. That’s a lot of money.

DW: Well I guess  the critical thing is how much of it comes back to Bougainville?

JM: Well under our law, or proposed initiative, I think it’s 58 billion. 50 billion will come back to Bougainville and only eight billion will go to the  developer. under their proposal, [RTG] 50 billion will go to them and the poor Bougainvilleans will only get 8 billion.

DW: So you are going to get a developer to come in, spending billions redeveloping the mine and they are not going to earn very much from it.

JM: Well they will get a lot of money. We own the resources and I think it’s six billion to develop the mine, and they can get the money back, quite comfortably.

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RTG Mining Inc Presents plans for Panguna Mine

Pacific Mining Watch | March 1, 2019

The RTG mining inc a mining company which has established itself at Panguna with the former miner BCL was for the first time able to table its plan of developing Panguna to Bougainville leaders in Port Moresby.

RTG has been trying to meet with the ABG President, Grand Chief DR. JOHN MOMIS or the Mining Minister or better still the Bougainville Executive Council until yesterday when the BEC and including two members of the National Government, Member for Central Bougainville and former PNG Mining Minister, SAM AKOITAI and the member for South Bougainville and deputy Opposition leader TIMOTHY MASIU were able to make the presentation.

According to RTG’s comprehensive presentation presented by Michael Carrick, RTG Mining INC ‘s chairman, RTC would like to support the Autonomous Bougainville Government to fund the Bougainville Referendum, Provide Financial Support for activities of the ABG to further Bougainville, Provide technical skills and access to capital to develop Panguna and in the process unite all Bougainvilleans.

Several questions were made to the Chairman by the leaders who attended the presentation regarding the presentation of which MR. Carrick was able to answer them all.

The leaders especially the member for Central Bougainville, SAM AKOITAI said that RTG should not bribe the landowners by paying them and the ABG which is the government that will grant them the Mining licence.

He said Government support should only be made through company taxes and licensing fees.

The presentation ended with the leaders agreeing that Bougainvilleans including the landowners should iron out their differences and consider investors who want to work with the ABG and the landowners to develop Panguna.

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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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