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Panguna mine was center of ten-year civil war

BOUGAINVILLE, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Aug. 17, 2011) – Bougainville Copper Limited is determined to involve landowners as part of its commitment to its long term vision for the Panguna Mine.

[PIR editor's note: BCL had been operating in Bougainville at Panguna from 1972 up to 1989, at which time operations were suspended during the larger conflicts in Bougainville.]

Company Secretary Paul Coleman reported in the company’s six months up to June 30, 2011 report to the Australian Stock Exchange that the company’s priority would be the involvement of landowners so the company would develop an engagement program aimed at increasing awareness of the benefits of returning to mine production.

"Good progress is being made by the landowners in the establishment of companies that once completed will enable an umbrella company to be formed that will represent all landowners in the review of the Bougainville Copper Agreement," Mr. Coleman said in his report.

"(Autonomous Bougainville Government) President Momis supports the vision of returning to mining at Panguna and has publicly stated he believes the majority of the Bougainville population also supports reopening the mine."

[PIR editor's note: Momis encountered resistance from the Panguna Landowners Association in February 2011. PLA representatives claimed Momis' representation of their goals was made without proper endorsement or consultation.]

BCL made a loss of K3.8 million for the six months to June this year compared to a profit of K2.8 million reported for the corresponding period of last year.

The Directors have not declared a dividend in respect of the six months ended 30 June this year.

The company reported that the high Australian currency has adversely affected costs and income has been reduced as a consequence of the monies paid in to court in relation to the tax dispute.

BCL Chairman Peter Taylor was elected President of the Australia-Papua New Guinea Business Council and in that capacity he led a high –profile business delegation to Bougainville in May.

The visit was hosted by Mr. Momis, and the delegation also met with a wide range of leaders from politics, business and administration.

"The delegation was impressed with the enthusiasm for investments in Papua New Guinea and support for the reopening of BCL’s Panguna Mine," Mr. Coleman said in the statement.

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