Bougainville's landowners ready to work with miner RTG

4:03 pm on 23 June 2017
Inside the pit of abandoned Panguna mine in Bougainville

Inside the pit of abandoned Panguna mine in Bougainville Photo: supplied

There's a call for the government in the Papua New Guinea region of Bougainville to work harder to tell the people what it is planning to do.

The Autonomous Bouganville Government wants to re-start mining at Panguna to bolster the economy ahead of a referendum on independence, but its efforts last week to sign up Panguna landowners was stymied by a protest and legal action.

The legal action came because the government was dealing with the wrong landowners' group.

The correct body was the Special Mining Lease Osikaiyang Landowners Association.

Its chair Philip Miriori said mining at Panguna cannot involve the company that operated the mine before the civil war, Bougainville Copper Ltd.

But he said they are keen on mining and are ready to go, bringing in Australian miner RTG.

Mr Miriori said there was a need for the government to undertake more awareness.

"To go right down to the people, you know, and tell them what is the advantage of re-opening the mine now, To us I can see that we start the mine up now, so that we start generating the money and prepare for the referendum or whatever you know."