MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Bougainville update: notorious "bad actor enters the controversy

Published by MAC on 2006-08-16


Bougainville update: notorious "bad actor enters the controversy

16th August 2006

As Rio Tinto continues sending mixed messages over its own intentions, the Bougainville Autonomous government (ABG) has started talks over a possible resumption of mining at Panguna with an Australia junior linked to the notorious China Nonferrous Metals company. The Chinese company was directly responsible for the deaths of more than fifty miners last year at the Chambisi copper mine in Zambia.


Bougainville: Mining courtship starts

Postcourier

18th August 2006

THE Autonomous Bougainville Government is quietly discussing mining on the island with an Australian mining company with links to China. Mining industry sources said yesterday that the ABG officials met with officials from Ord River Resources Limited, an Australian company with links to Chinese Government-owned China Non Ferrous Metal Industries. China Non Ferrous Metal Industries owns Chambisi Copper Mine in Zambia.

Ord River Resources is owned by father and son John and Jeremy Towner and the company has exploration tenements in Northern Territory. Deputy chairman of Ord River Resource's Tao Luo is the chairman and president of China Non Ferrous Metal Industries. Mining sources said yesterday that after going through the crisis for 16 years, why ABG was talking to companies with no good track record in the mining industry.

ABG Legal adviser Kapeatu Puaria said yesterday that the ABG was talking to mining companies as it prepares to draw down mining powers from the National Government. "At the moment we are preparing ground work with the intention to transfer (mining) powers from the National Government," Mr Puaria said. "The (ABG) cabinet will make the decision on who they want. "We are talking to many mining companies such as Bougainville Copper Limited and Rio Tinto."

He said he could not say anything further as the mining issue was still sensitive on the island. He said everything would be made public once things were finalised. Mr Puaria met with Ord River Resources executives in Australia and after he returned back to Bougainville, Ord River Resource Limited's share prices shot up from nine cents (21 toea) to 25 cents (59 toea). The Australian Stock Exchange wrote a letter to Ord River Resources seeking explanation of the sudden surge in share prices but the company secretary Patrick Sam Yue said the company was not aware of any information concerning it.

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