8 Mar 2007

Bougainville in discussions with Ord Resources about opening Panguna mine

4:07 pm on 8 March 2007

In Papua New Guinea the Autonomous Bougainville Government has reportedly proposed to a small Australian mineral company, Ord River Resources, that the controversial Panguna gold mine be re-opened.

However, the National newspaper reports the ABG president, Joseph Kabui, saying outstanding environmental, social and legal issues concerning the mine need to be dealt with first.

And Mr Kabui says the ABG will not be dictated to by a small group of people living in Port Moresby.

This was in response to statements from Lawrence Daveona, a spokesperson for the Panguna Landowners Association who says Bougainville Copper Ltd, the company which started the mine 30 years ago, is the only company that will be allowed by the landowners to discuss the future of the mine.

But Mr Kabui says discussions he has had indicate that Mr Daveona is not recognised by senior representatives of the landowners from Panguna.

He says they recognise the ABG and the efforts it is making to re-open the mine.