5 Oct 2005

PNG's Bougainville government considers Panguna re-opening

2:56 pm on 5 October 2005

The Autonomous Bougainville Government in Papua New Guinea has established a committee to work on re-opening the Panguna mine.

The National newspaper reports that the government voted 38-2 in favour of re-opening the mine, which was shut when the uprising began in 1989.

The Bougainville House Speaker, Nick Peniai, says within the committee there are three sub-committees.

One is tasked with seeking views and working with the landowners, the second will liaise with the National Government, and the third will negotiate with the Bougainville Copper Limited, the owner of the mine.

Mr Peniai says the re-opening will cost a lot of money and it will take years.

The speaker claims that about 400,000 US dollars generated from the sale of alluvial gold is now circulating throughout Bougainville.

He says the Bougainville government also plans to establish a metal refinery and laboratories to refine the gold nuggets.