MAC: Mines and Communities

Re-opening of Panguna Mine is not negotiable

Published by MAC on 2011-05-10
Source: Statement, PostCourier (2011-05-05)

Re-opening of Panguna Mine is not negotiable

Mekamui Hardliners Media Release

5 May 2011

Locals from Bougainville are keen to correct the pro-mine media regarding the reopening of the Panguna mine and warn against misrepresentation of views and a repeat of the bloody violence of the past. The proponent, Bougainville Copper Limited is majority owned by Rio Tinto, whose AGM will be held in Perth today.

Panguna mine on Bougainville
Panguna mine on Bougainville - Source: The National

Phillip Banas spokesperson for the Mekamui Hardliners said "The re-opening of the Panguna mine on Bougainville is not-negotiable."

"The people that own the land around the mine site are adamant that they would not allow that to happen immediately or in future."

Overseas media or personal are contacting people they say represent the mine or land owners in Panguna, but those people do not represent the real views of the rightful land owners. They most of the time live out of Bougainville, out of touch, and in comfort miles away in Port Moresby. As a result what they talk about is hear-say, out of context, wishful thinking, and out of thinking of real land owners and Bougainvilleans.

"This is a volatile and an explosive situation that should be treated delicately and with caution. The real issue why the mine was closed is still not being addressed yet."

So the real issue is that consultation must be made at grass root level, views of the ordinary people on the ground must be addressed and wider consultation taken on board.

Views of Bankers, Technocrats, and Politicians are seen as ploys to get the rich to richer and the poor to get poorer. So the poor land owners will always be the biggest losers at the end, because of ill conceived decisions that was made in a hasty mood by some one or people that overlooked real issues and failed to contact real people.

"Bougainville has gone through a bloody path in the past, and if things go wrong at this stage, history shows that the path can always be repeated."For further information and comment, contact the Mekamui Hardliners on;
Phillip Banas, Ph: +677 847 0907
Clive Porabou, Ph: +677 750 5944
http://mekamui.wordpress.com/

Australian Contact, Charles Roche, Mineral Policy Institute, 0450 901 714


ABG warns on Panguna

By Gorethy Kenneth

PostCourier

2 May 2011

ACTING Bougainville President Patrick Nisira has issued a strong warning to people interested or intending to do business in Panguna to take precautions as it is still a very sensitive issue.

Mr Nisira's warning comes after reports to the ABG that there have been a lot of visits made by Bougainvilleans, PNG nationals and other foreign interests and ABG does not want to derail the already established process and understanding reached with the people in the area.

"I want to tell everyone that the current Panguna Unification and Reconciliation process is very fragile and at the same time very important to the people of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. The peace process belongs to the ABG acting directly on behalf of the people of Bougainville and the people of Panguna," Mr Nisira said.

"Anyone who has any interest in the minerals at Panguna, scrap metals or anything must be mindful of the process being carried out.

"Any intentions to go to Panguna to do business by anyone must declare their interest to the ABG as well as government departments and divisions, they too must declare their programs and activities to the Bougainville administration, mining division or the office of the vice President. There had been a lot of visits made by Bougainvilleans, PNG nationals and other foreign interests in the past three months and we do not want to derail the already established process and understanding reached.

"I want all national members of Parliament, ABG ministers, members, LLG members and COE members, Bougainville administration, business houses and individuals to be honest and not to make empty promises to the people of Panguna to win their favours or interest."

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