10 Apr 2003

BCL in PNG hopes Bougainville devolution will help with Panguna mine's future

3:56 pm on 10 April 2003

The head of the closed Papua New Guinea copper mine at Panguna on Bougainville says the company would like to see an autonomous government on the island to have a better base for negotiations about the mine's future.

The mine was forced to close 13 years ago in an uprising led by Francis Ona that was followed by a protracted civil war.

Peter Taylor of BCL has told the Post Courier newspaper that the proposed devolution of power with the autonomous government may lead to a proper administration of the mine asset.

He says revenue would be needed which at present is inadequate.

Mr Taylor says the imperative to succeed after such a long period of struggle may just see Bougainville take the lead in the promotion of exploration of mining.

The Panguna mine, which was a key PNG revenue earner before its closure, is believed to be able to sustain many years of exploitation if conditions are right.