Bougainville's president says the claims of a dissident landowner leader are irrelevant as the PNG province aims to get majority control of Bougainville Copper Ltd.
BCL had operated the Panguna mine and the chair of the Panguna Osikaiang Landowners Association, Lawrence Daveona, says his group are the rightful owners of the mine site and the company itself.
This comes after Rio Tinto gave away its 53 percent shareholding and walked away, claiming it was under no obligation to do anything about the damage caused by the mine.
Panguna had been the catalyst of the province's destructive civil war.
Bougainville's President John Momis wants the majority shareholding although the Papua New Guinea government has given its Rio shares to the landowners.
Mr Momis told Don Wiseman most of the landowner groups from around mine, Mr Daveona excepted, back his government's push.