MAC: Mines and Communities

Bougainville - in with a BAM!

Published by MAC on 2019-02-03
Source: Ramu Mining, Arawa Forum (2019-02-04)

Citizens respond in fury

Is it any surprise that a group of foreign investors and domestic wheelers-cum-dealers - is cooking up a plan to gain control of Bougainvillle's mineral resources, ahead of the referendum on independence expected later this year?

According to the following report, based on a broadcast by Radio New Zealand, it isn't.

In fact, John Momis, current Premier of Bougainville's ABG, is reported  to be backing the plan.

Why, the proposed mining company goes by a title almost eponymous with "cabal"!

However, last weekend at a forum held in the Arawa township, citizens erupted in anger and dismay at the proposed legislation allowing the move.

 

Mysterious Australian businessman swoops on Bougainville's minersls

Ramu mining

30 January 2019

News reports suggest a mysterious Australian businessman, Jeffrey McGlinn,
is the sponsor of a major amendment to Bougainville’s Mining Act. McGlinn
is said to be behind the company Caballus Mining, and is proposing to set
up a local firm, Bougainville Advance Mining or BAM.

According to Radio New Zealand, the McGlinn group ‘wanted to shortcut a
number of what it calls complicated requirements in the [Mining] act to
fast track vital infrastructure development in Bougainville and boost
employment ahead of the referendum on independence from PNG, due in June
this year’.

A major report from the ground, included below, has gone so far as to
suggest the McGlinn consortium plans to seize control of all major mineral
deposits across Bougainville.

If true, this appears to be yet another scheme cooked up by the Momis
government with foreigners, to make quick bucks under the banner of
independence preparations.

Worryingly, McGlinn it can be confirmed, is linked to a Somali national,
Mr Qamar Khan, aka Stephen Khan, who is a close affiliate of Belden Namah.
McGlinn acted as a Director in a company owned by Mr Qamar Khan, AUSPNG
Holdings Limited.  Khan sold the company to Siniwok Limited in 2015.
Siniwok is owned by Beldan Namah. Mr Khan was also a Director at Siniwok
Limited.

This comes after Beldan Namah was recently rumored to have travelled to
Bougainville for talks with President Momis.

McGlinn also heads the firm Caballus Excellence. The latter boasts:

“A whole world and even more, is everything that Caballus Excellence
World selects for the lifestyle of its members that have chosen
excellence in their daily lives: from the refinement of taste in food,
to reception in the most prestigious hotels, from luxury shopping
online, to services reserved for art collectors, from travel by car,
jet and yacht to the most exclusive destinations. This is our tribute
to the elegance of the good life”.

If the below communique is accurate, it appears a small few may see ‘the
elegance of the good life’ courtesy of this amendment to the Mining Act,
but the many on Bougainville will suffer.

Proposed ABG Legislation to bypass LOs in SML allocation – Report from
Bougainville

This is the proposal that ABG is seeking Legislate in the coming week.
There is no work, let alone consultation done to drive the legislative
changes to BMA to accommodate Caballus (a mining company in partnership
with ABG)

We must oppose it for the following reasons among others;

1. Caballus is suggesting amending legislation to completely side step all
the safeguards, protections, procedures, and ownership rights, including
the Customary Owners ownership provided for in the Bougainville Mining
Act.

Here you have a foreigner, who is trying to secure a significant personal
interest, recommending the ABG strip the rights and ownership of the
Customary Owners of Bougainville.

Further this special vehicle (BAM) will be the only entity to which
Special Mining Licences in Bougainville can be issued. It seeks to bypass
the Mining department and the ABG administration.

It covers all SML’s not only Panguna and effectively nationalises every
SML- Mining Project and gives one man, Jeff McGlinn a 40% interest in
every SML on Bougainville.

2 – final point, makes it clear the ABG’s interest is dilutive, so it does
not have a non dillutive interest. Jeff McGlinn will arrange for the
distribution of new shares to other investors. This mean Jeff McGlinn and
his investors will personally control every mine in AROB, not the AGB and
not the LO’s. It removes the LO’s direct ownership in the mining project,
and right of veto over EL and SML’s.

It is not as Jeff McGlinn says a “slight change” but a draconian change
which takes away all the LO’s rights and ownership, and places them in the
hands of one man Jeff McGlinn, and the ABG.

The Caballus proposal does not say they are raising US$150m for the ABG
to use at its discretion eg the referendum costs.

3. Jeff McGlinn has to be given title first (he will try and raise the
funds only after all approvals have been given). Caballus will then only
“assist” the ABG with an initial capital raising. So McGlinn gets title
first, only then does he “try” or “assist the ABG” to raise the money. In
fact no guarantee, only a vague promise to “assist” the ABG to raise
money. Again it’s not the ABG’s money but BAM’s money.

So if he fails to raise the money, he still walks away with the title
(40%) for nothing. So he is asking for the titles of all mines, only for a
promise to “assist” with raising money.

4. [He] says he is going to raise money from Sovereign States (and private
investors). Note the investors will be [from] foreign countries. This gives rise
to all sorts of national security and independence issues for the ABG.
Foreign Governments [will be]directly controlling Bougainville’s most strategic
asset.

5. [He] says the US$150m raising will be for the purpose of funding the
mine-Pre-construction and pre-operation. The first stage funding will be
circa US$150m to commence the bankable feasibility study. This is not and
will not be the ABG’s money therefore,, as the ABG currently believes.

It suggests the US$150m will be for new shares in Bougainville Advance
Mining (BAM). The money therefore will be BAM’s and will be used for the
above (point 14) specific purposes, not the ABG’s personal use.

Further the very initial or starting deal is 60/40, but the proposal is
absolutely unclear as to what % the investors who put up US$150m get, and
what % the ABG will be left with. It appears everyone gets diluted pro
rata but [ this is completely unclear.

There is definitely no guaranteed minimum floor for the ABG.

6. Role of ABG. (2nd last Point) The ABG will distribute, administer, and
maintain the BAM shareholding for Traditional Owners – not the Customary
Owners themselves. The Landowners will not have a direct project interest
(and therefore direct access to cash), as the current Bougainville Mining
Act provides, with direct access and control over their share of the cash
generation.

7. Us[ing] the income to rebuild Bougainville (infrastructure and facilities).

This is illusionary and highly misleading. ABG will only have ultimately a
minority interest in the shares of BAM- not a direct project interest. It
will only get a dividend if BAM declares and pays a dividend. They cannot
control that decision. If the BAM Board wants to retain the cash for
expansions or new developments, there will be no cash for the ABG. The ABG
will not have a direct share of project profits and revenue.

Hopelessly simplistic and misleading,there is  no provision for independent
directors.

Everyone is an executive director, [with nonone] directly representing investors...

This is just not possible!


For immedate release

4 February 2019

FORUM TO GAUGE VIEWS ON CONTROVERSIAL ABG BILLS

The Bills were introduced by ABG at the request of Caballus Mining

Arawa, Autonomous Region of Bougainville: A forum was held on Sunday afternoon 03/02/19 at Arawa Town Market by ABG Parliamentary Committee Comprising of all-male committee namely, RODNEY OSIOCO and member for Kokoda, Chairman. JOHN VIANNE KEPAS and member for Makis, member, CHRISTOPHER KENA and member for Lato, member, THOMAS KERIRI and member for Rau, member, and EZEKIEL MASSAT and member for Tonsu and Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee.

The bills in question which have already gone through the first reading are the Bougainville Advance Mining Holdings Trust Authorization Bill, Bougainville Advance Mining Holdings Limited Authorization Bill, and a Bill to amend the Bougainville Mining Act 2015. All bills were introduced by the Autonomous Bougainville Government at the request of Jeffery McGlinn of Caballus Mining who is has also proposed to ABG to grant him and his company the authority over all mining interests on the island.

According to New Dawn FM, The legislation committee in the Bougainville House of Representatives took ownership of the three government bills after they were referred to it by the House on Wednesday 30th January 2019.

Speaking earlier on New Dawn FM, Chairman OSIOCO said, the Legislation Committee shall exercise its functions and powers to ensure that the parliamentary procedures and practices are exercised independently which will also provide an opportunity to citizens and public and private organizations to have a say on the proposed laws being proposed by the Executive Government.
He said, the two weeks, work plan for the legislation committee will be published once endorsed by the legislation committee.

This will include dates and venues where the committee will visit and make it-self available for people to submit their views on the proposed laws sponsored by the executive Government several ABG Ministers and Members of the Members of the ABG House of Representatives namely led by the Chairman and Member for Kokoda Constituency Rodney Osioko This is the first of the series of to gauge the views of the general public on the passing of three controversial bills by the Autonomous Government.

The forum at Arawa drew a very strong opposition from members of the civil society to the 3 mining bills that have already gone through the first reading at the ABG Parliament. All community governments, women and youth and those opposed to large scale mining on Bougainville requested that the bills not be entertain and be thrown away. The reaction from the crowd who attended the meeting was one of disbelief and anger and some of them could be heard shouting in support of calls to stop the bills by the speakers at the forum.

Former banker and ABG Member Mathias Salas told the forum to be wary of the situation because if they were not careful, under expropriation laws the government and the President can steal the land from land and resources owners. He said that the introduction of the bills was an example of what can happen.

Lawrence Daveona of Special Mining Lease OsiKaiyang Landowners Association drew forum’s attention to the how much of the ABG Bougainville Mining Law had been affected by draft the amendment done by lawyers in Australia already for Jeffery McGlinn of ‘Caballus Mining’ on whose request ABG had introduced the bills.

Chairman of the Bougainville Hardliners Group which is opposed to any form of large scale mining call on the ABG and general public to fund the referendum from own pockets by donating twenty kina each meet referendum expenses.

“Lets show Papua New Guinea that we are independent by funding our referendum”, he said.

His call was supported by CLC Pastor Munau who said that those who are oppose to Bougainville’s independence are trying to cause confusion so the right thing to do is put any amount of money from heart towards referendum.

A the end of the meeting a resolution was passed to block the bills from being passed in by ABG.

Contact:

Chris Baria
Starizons Media
+675 70641962
chrisbaria@starizons.com

 

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