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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Feb. 28) - Bougainville Copper Limited will be the only mining company that will be allowed by the Panguna landowners to discuss the future of the Panguna Mine.

This is because the company is currently the mining leaseholder of the area, which the mine is located and also because there are outstanding issues that needed to be sorted out with the company.

Road Mining Tailings Lease Trustee Ltd director and Panguna Landowners’ Association spokesman Mr. Lawrence Daveona said this yesterday after learning that a proposal by Australian junior mining company Ord River Resources was currently before the Bougainville Executive Council for the executives to deliberate on today. "We made a resolution in November last year to deal with Bougainville Copper Limited regarding the Panguna Mine," Daveona said. "The (PNG) Mining Minister Mr. Sam Akoitai is aware of this resolution and the Minister responsible for Bougainville Affairs is also aware of this resolution."

He said there were outstanding issues such as environment, legal and social that needed to be addressed before any mining of Panguna could be discussed.

Daveona also said that there was already a lease holder for Panguna and that any attempts to bring in investors in the mining sector should be done in a transparent manner to have credible investors into Bougainville.

The Panguna landowners have also supported statements by the Bougainville regional MP Bougainville Leo Hannett in which he raised important issues of concern to the ABG, the landowners and the people of the region in general the tax claim by the IRC against BCL for over PGK27 million [US$9.6 million].

They said the ABG should push ahead to claim all or some of the PGK27 million as that money was generated with money earned from mining on Bougainville.

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