MAC/20: Mines and Communities

BCL shareholders give nod to company plans

Published by MAC on 2007-04-03

BCL shareholders give nod to company plans

Postcourier (Papua New Guinea)

3rd April 2007

THE European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper have welcomed the intention of Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL), to return to exploration and mining in Bougainville within the next three years.

Bougainville Copper Limited owned 53 per cent by the international mining giant Rio Tinto, 19 per cent by the Government of PNG and the remainder by individual shareholders said in its 2006 annual report that it had developed a three-year plan to return to exploration and profitable mining in Papua New Guinea.

The mine was closed since 1989 due to unrest in the Panguna mine area and the rest of Bougainville.

"We are extremely satisfied that finally the things seem to come to a good end," said spokesman Axel G. Sturm. "If serious companies like Bougainville Copper Limited and Rio Tinto make such statements," said Mr. Sturm, "they must be completely convinced, that they will reach their targets as presented to the public. This is the beginning of a brilliant future of Bougainville and its region."

Mr Sturm was responding to a report in the Post-Courier yesterday that stated BCL the return to exploration and profitable mining was just one of the many things that the former world class miner had put down on its "to do" list for this year.

The others include pushing ahead with the Bougainville Copper Agreement review and the settling of the tax dispute between the State and BCL.

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