Bougainville Copper Limited Presentation On Reopening Panguna Mine Satifies Landowners

Original 6 landowning groups to get outstanding royalty payments from start of conflict period, 1989-90

By Sebastian Hakalits

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, March 2, 2017) – The recent presentation by Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) of its forward plan to the Autonomous Bougainville Government (AGB) on re-opening Panguna mine has brought satisfaction to landowners.

Chairman of the Port Mine Access Road said the BCL proposal contained new and additional documentation and information not included in the past and even before the mine became operational during pre-independence.

He said it was satisfactory because ABG had its own mining laws in place guaranteeing full participation by the people and the flow of benefits, unlike the past plans which he said favoured only a few people.

"Currently we are facing some inconveniences with accounts and cheque payments that has raised many complaints within our landowner association and we hope everything will go well as today many things can happen regarding the payments," Mr Miriona said.

Bruno Babato of the Panguna Mine Negotiations Office clarified that there were six original associations before the Bougainville conflict and four of the associations, Mid Tailings, Lower Tailings, Bolave Fish Owners and Port Mine Access Road have received a total of over K5 million [US$1.5 million] as initial payment of outstanding royalty from 1989 to 1990.

Mr Babato said Upper tailings and Special Mining Lease associations will get their payments once compiling of data is completed when officers from the office will be travelling there next week.

He said 70 per cent of the landowners listed have passed away so what they have to do now is identify the eligible next of kin for the two associations.

The other three associations were established after the crisis under the mine affected areas of Panguna comprising of Umara, Sokate and Coastal Corridors.

Attempts to get comments from the other three association beneficiaries’ chairpersons were unsuccessful.

PNG Post-Courier
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