13 Aug 2013

Anger in Bougainville at out of the blue Panguna deal

7:02 am on 13 August 2013

The president of the autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville has expressed anger at a deal between landowners around the Panguna mine and a Chinese company.

John Momis was reacting to a deal between the chair of the group representing the Panguna land lease groups, Lawrence Daveona, the local MP and a minister in the national government, Jimmy Miningtoro, and Beijing Aerospace Great Wall Mineral Investment.

Mr Momis says the deal undermines the months of work to bring all parties together on re-starting mining at Panguna.

"It took us a long time to get the ex-combatants, the landowners and ourselves and the national government and Bougainville Copper Ltd to work together - a structure which enables us to do that and now out of the blue Jimmy Miningtoro comes up with this company and signs an MOU with the landowners."

John Momis says the deal will probably be ruled illegal under the province's soon to be passed mining legislation.