21 Sep 2016

Bougainville landowners group claim BCL ownership

4:34 pm on 21 September 2016

A Panguna landowners' group says it is the rightful owner of the huge mine and of Bougainville Copper Ltd.

The claims from the Osikaiang Landowners Association come amid an ongoing fight over the ownership of shares in BCL, after the majority owner Rio Tinto ended its involvement.

Bougainville's Panguna Copper mine

Bougainville's Panguna Copper mine Photo: Supplied

The Autonomous Bougainville Government wants that majority stake though the Papua New Guinea government gave some of its shares to landowners.

But the chair of Osikaiang, Lawrence Daveona, said the company and resource belongs entirely to his group.

He wants both governments to re-assess their mining laws and for Port Moresby to consider his group's claim they have been the rightful owners of BCL since, he say, its licence expired in 2011.

"So let them have a look at that. National Government must repeal the BCA Act [The Bougainville Copper Agreement Act - under which the mine was established]. And unless they deal with this issue on their own, among themselves, then come back to us, because we are the real resource owners, the people of Panguna SML OsiKaiang Landowners."

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