15 Aug 2014

Bougainville hopes mining giant embraces new law

4:35 pm on 15 August 2014

The Bougainville Government says Bougainville Copper Ltd will have first right of refusal when the first negotiations over mining licences get underway.

Last week, the autonomous Papua New Guinea province passed its first mining law - one that gives ownership of the resources to the landowners for the first time.

It also stripped companies like BCL of existing licences.

The Bougainville Chief Administrator, Chris Siriosi, says they do not anticipate legal action from the owners of BCL, Rio Tinto, because the new law allows for BCL to be the first cab-off-the-rank in new negotiations with the people.

"It is incumbent on the company to try and come up with a suitable agreement in place of the Bougainville copper agreement. An agreement that matches the times - this day and age, an agreement that gives additional wealth to the people of Bougainville."

The Chief Administrator in Bougainville, Chris Siriosi.

An aerial view of Arawa, Bougainville

An aerial view of Arawa, Bougainville Photo: RNZI