One of the speakers at this week's PNG New Voices conference in Port Moresby says Bougainville's prospects for independence do not hinge on the potential reopening of the Panguna mine.
An emerging writer from Bougainville, Leonard Fong Roka says young Bougainvilleans are increasingly preoccupied with shaping a better, self-reliant future.
He says Bougainville must keep forging unity despite the various divisions over the mine.
"It's not a crucial part of getting Bougainville forward. The crucial part of getting Bougainville forward is the unity: unity and a creative leadership, a leadership that is relevant, up to date and a leadership that has a better relationship with the people, a relationship that is not divided."
Leonard Fong Roka says bitter internal politics and factionalism among Bougainville's leaders should be kept aside as it detracts from Bougainville's path towards independence.