14 Dec 2017

BCL confident of backing from Panguna landowners

1:15 pm on 14 December 2017

Two companies vying for control of the Panguna mine site in Papua New Guinea's Bougainville remain at loggerheads.

Panguna mine site

Panguna mine site Photo: supplied

Earlier this week RTG claimed the resolution of a dispute over the leadership of the key landowning group at the mine site cleared the way for it to proceed.

But Bougainville Copper Limited, which used to mine Panguna and wants to return, says there is more court ordered mediation to come.

BCL company secretary, Mark Hitchcock, said a judge has ordered that the views of the membership of the Special Mining Lease Osikiang Landowners Association be sought.

And he says BCL was confident that it would win their backing.

"We know for a fact that the majority of those landowners are pro-mining, to start with, and they are also supportive of BCL. We ahve seen that evidence. At the recent wardens hearing, we have seen the turnout at that hearing and we are confident of the support."

Mark Hitchcock sayid there were 367 individuals who could have a say on the issue.

The mediation is scheduled for the end of next month.

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