BCL confident of Bougainville landowners backing

9:37 am on 21 November 2017

Bougainville Copper Limited says it remains on course to resume its mining operation at Panguna.

The company, which is now part owned by the autonomous government in the Papua New Guinea region, was forced out of Bougainville in 1990 by the civil war.

Last week, it held just its second board meeting on Bougainville for the past 27 years.

Ongoing mediation is still to resolve which of the landowner groups around the Panguna mine site has the right to make decisions over what will happen there.

But the company secretary, Mark Hitchcock, said it has broad backing.

"Can't say much about the mediation but we have seen widespread approval for the return to mining, with Bougainville Copper, with the people who have been attending mediation and we are confident we have widespread of the landowners in the region - in the Panguna area," he said.

One of the landowner groups involved in mediation is working with rival mining company RTG.

An abandoned building at Panguna mine site in Bougainville

An abandoned building at Panguna mine site in Bougainville Photo: supplied

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