31 Mar 2006

PNG landowners back Panguna mine review

3:10 pm on 31 March 2006

Landowners of the abandoned Panguna mine in the Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville have welcomed the Government's decision to include them in a review of the mine.

They have told the Post Courier newspaper that the government has taken onboard what past governments had failed to do, although Bougainville Copper Limited had requested the PNG Government to include the landowners in the review.

There has never been any review of the Bougainville Copper Agreement since the mine was started in 1972.

The agreement should have been reviewed every seven years.

Representatives of landowners, and other title holders in the Panguna mining lease area, Severinus Ampaoi and Lawrence Daveonam, say during the review they would not support the re-opening of the Panguna mine.

They say re-opening of the mine or having a mine at all on Bougainville would be decided by the people of Bougainville.