Canadian venture capitalists step onto Bougainville
Rio Tinto remains out in the cold
Since 1998, indigenous land owners of Bougainville have debated the promises and perils of returning to a mining-dependent economy after one of the bloodiest civil conflicts in recent Pacific history.
Most attention has focussed on the prospect of Rio Tinto re-opening its Panguna copper-gold mine, which was at the heart of the battle over Bougainville. See: Bougainville Copper's bloody "hidden past" exposed
However, another company has now stepped in where the world's third biggest mining outfit has so far failed to tread, benefiting from Bougainville's new policy on mining exploration.
Morumbi Resources is a little-known Canadian enterprise, dominated by a clutch of venture capitalists, which points out that Bougainvillean mining exploration leases may now "be registered only to Landowner Companies and their qualified partners".
Curiously, the only partner appearing to have qualified so far is Morumbi Resources itself...
For additional information on the persons who set up and run Morumbi, see: http://moneytometal.org/index.php/Morumbi_Resources
The Autonomous Bougainville Government Moves to Introduce Bougainville Mining Policy to Start Mining Exploration on Bougainville, Papua New Guinea
Morumbi Resources press release
10 July 2012
- Draft Policy calls for Licences to be granted to Landowner Companies
- Morumbi signs Mining & Development MOU's over two new areas on Bougainville
TORONTO, ONTARIO - Morumbi Resources Inc. ("Morumbi" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that on June 7, 2012 before a packed House of Representatives (the "House") in Buka, Bougainville, a motion was presented from the floor to introduce a Mining Policy to start exploration on the Autonomous Island of Bougainville. The motion was passed unanimously by the 39 member House. The action was described in Papua New Guinea's ("PNG's") leading daily newspaper as "a positive step since its [ABG] installment in 2005 for a young government." It further stated that exploration is "a right that every Bougainvillean has been waiting for and have (sic) fought the Bougainville crisis for."
Of significance, as part of the motion, a Draft Mining Policy was commended to the House reaffirming that the ownership of mineral and oil & gas resources reside with the Landowners, and that mineral exploration licenses on Bougainville will be registered only to Landowner Companies and their qualified partners. The motion called for the Government to instruct the Administration to act in 2012 to review and finalize the draft, and present it to the House for passage.
Two Additional Mining & Development Memoranda
Morumbi, through special purpose subsidiaries, entered into two additional memoranda of understanding (each, an "MOU") with Landowner Companies over two areas regarded as being highly prospective as indicated by early historical geological surveys. The final boundaries are to be determined by a Morumbi survey crew that will travel with the customary Landowners to identify the streams, ravines and mountain ridges that typically define their customary land. The crew will utilize mobile GPS recording technology which will be transferred to detailed maps.
Eruupia Mining & Development Ltd., a Morumbi PNG subsidiary, has entered into an MOU with Eruupia Resources Ltd., a Landowner Company. The mining and development MOU establishes Morumbi as the mining and development partner for the Landowner Company.
Although there has been limited geological work done in this isolated area known as Kawatsia 18km North West of the historical Panguna Mine, geological interpretation and the presence of widespread alluvials in the streams set this as a property of significant geological merit for epithermal and porphyry mineralization. The Eruupia MOU covers approximately 8,000 ha.
Karato Mining & Development Ltd., a Morumbi PNG subsidiary, has entered into an MOU with Karato Resource Holdings Ltd., a Landowner Company. The mining and development MOU establishes Morumbi as the mining and development partner for the Landowner Company. Although the outlying boundaries are yet to be determined, much of this historically regarded and highly prospective area lies outside the former Panguna area of interest and lies 14 km west of the historic Panguna Mine. Various independent assessments have identified a porphyry occurrence 8 km in diameter over the Karato lands as well epithermal structures that warrant further intensive geological investigation. The Karato MOU covers approximately 14,000 ha.
Under the terms of each of the MOU's, Morumbi has paid Kina 10,000 (approximately CDN$5,000) on signing and has committed to pay a further Kina 3,000 (approximately CDN$1,500) per month to the Landowner companies to help them carry out their corporate functions. In addition, Morumbi is committed to carry out social development programs in line and in conjunction with the programs it is delivering to its other four areas under agreement.
Grant of Options
Morumbi also announced that on July 10, 2012, in accordance with its stock option plan, the board of directors of the Company approved the grant of an aggregate of an aggregate of 200,000 incentive stock options to a director of the Company. The options are exercisable on or before July 10, 2017 at an exercise price of $0.47 per share. The granting of the options is subject to regulatory acceptance of applicable filings.
Morumbi Resources Inc. is a public company with a light oil property in northwest Alberta as well as early stage mineral exploration licences in PNG. Morumbi is also currently evaluating resource opportunities in Bougainville, PNG by forming strategic relationships with local Landowner companies with the view to securing mineral exploration licences on their traditional lands. The Company trades on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol "MOC". For more information about Morumbi and the Company's plans visit our website at www.morumbi.ca.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Morumbi Resources Inc.
Thomas J. Loch
President & C.O.O.
Bougainville Landowners speak out on latest moves with Rio Tinto mine
19 July 2012
Landowners are meeting on Papua New Guinea's island of Bougainville to pave
the way for the return of mining giant Rio-Tinto.
Rio's Panguna copper mine was the spark that ignited a decade-long civil war which left thousands dead and the economy of the island on its knees.
Two decades on, there is a growing consensus among landowners about re-opening the mine.
Presenter: Jemima Garrett
Speakers: John Momis, President of the Autonomous Government of Bougainville
Chris Damana, interim chairman of the Panguna Landowners Association
Bernadine Kiraa, Chairwoman of the Panguna Lower Tailings Landowers Association
GARRETT: Reconciliation is now the name of the game between landowners and Bougainville Copper - the Rio Tinto subsidiary that owns the Panguna copper
It has been a long hard road.
Landowners have been holding talks among themselves and with the Autonmous Bougainville government for more than 2 years.
Earlier this month, there was something of a breakthrough - a three-way meeting between landowners, the Autonomous Bougainville government and Bougainville Copper.
Bernadine Kirra, is Chairwoman of the 3000 strong landowner group that suffered most during mining - the lower tailings landowners.
KIRAA: The meeting with BCL was a step forward. it was a very good meeting because we agreed at once some decisions that BCL has to meet before it decides to come to Bougainville.
GARRETT: And what is thew feeling amongst the women and the other landowners. do they want to see the mine re-opened, eventually?
KIRAA: Uh, yeah! Most people in mine-affected areas and all of Bougainville, we would very much want BCL to come back.
KIRAA: To help us with our economical recovery on Bougainville.
GARRETT: Bougainville's President John Momis says the meeting with BCL was very significant.
MOMIS: It was the first time that all the landowners were represented in the group that talked with us. In the past we had other big meetings but not all landowner groups were represented. But this time it was good.
GARRETT: And did the landowner groups include mekamui and some of the landowner groups that have been hostile to Bougainville copper?
MOMIS: The landowner groups represented all the groups that have been listed as the legitimate landowners, which includes Mekamui, of course, yes.
GARRETT: Were you surprised at the broad representation of landowners that turned up for the meeting?
MOMIS: I was not completely surprised. I was very happy because we had been doing a lot of work, the administration has been doing a lot of work liaising and talking with the landower groups and insisting that landowners must come to an agreement to work together.
GARRETT: Bougainville President John Momis.
Landowners took charge of the agenda at the meeting with Bougainville copper.
Chris Damana, Interim Chairman of the key umbrella group, the Panguna Landowners Association, says the BCL representative aquitted himself well.
DAMANA: Mr Paul Coleman, during our 13 agendas that we presented, gave us a positive ..all of them positively answered us. BCL will come and re-open the mine but need to tidy up a lot of things before they come and re-open the mine. We all agree that BCL will come back because they have learned their mistake. We have learned our mistake and, maybe, we can start on a new slate.
GARRETT: So the landowners want to see the mine re-opened?
DAMANA: Of course we need Panguna mine to re-open, definitely!
GARRETT: Landowners told Bougainville copper that before any more moves could be made towards formal negotiations for the re-opening of the mine the company must take part in a reconciliation ceremony and pay what is known as belcol money.
Respecting tradition is crucial to the success of future talks.
This week, landowners have been holding a series of meetings to draw up some instructions so that BCL gets it right.
DAMANA: We are discussing it now, this morning, in a meeting. we want to put it in black and white to BCL because as you know BCL will see it from the Western cultural perspective. we see it from the Melanesian cultural perspective so we need to explain properly to BCL what this belcol money is and what will meet our purpose, that BCL will do before we go into serious talkings with BCL.
GARRETT: Chris Damana, interim Chairman of the umbrella organisation, the Panguna landowners Association.
Landowners are still discussing exactly what the belcol should entail.
Bernadine Kiraa, from the lower tailings landowners association does not want to pre-empt the outcome, but she is clear on what her people want.
KIRAA: We really want something that will benefit the whole of Bougainville but, especially myself, I am really looking for BCL to build maybe some good schools for a better standard and maybe better hospitals for Bougainville for a start because we really have a problem with good standard of education and the health facilities here on Bougainville at the moment is very low.
GARRETT: If the mining does go ahead, would all of Bougainville benefit or would it only be the landowners from around the mine?
KIRAA: No, No, this time we are looking from a different perspective. All people of Bougainville should benefit because they have all suffered due to the landowners conflict so we are looking forward to a new complete agreement that will benefit all of Bougainville.