Rio Tinto moves a step further in returning to BougainvillePublished by MAC on 2007-04-03
Rio Tinto moves a step further in returning to Bougainville
3rd April 2007
Those money-grasping invest ors who constitute the self-named "European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper" - and like to send out big photos of themselves along with their press releases, instead of images of the polluted minesite or the horrors of the recent war - claim that the Panguna mine will reopen.
They base their optimism on a more cautious statement from BCL itself - but which nonetheless seems to confirm that Rio Tinto (the majority investor in of BCL) is now planning to return to Bougainville - and not just to Panguna.
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.
BCL plans to return
2nd April 2007
BOUGAINVILLE Copper Limited has adopted a comprehensive three-year plan to return to exploration and mining in PNG.
Company chairman Peter Taylor said in the company's annual report, released last week, that the company was also looking at starting the review of the Bougainville Copper Agreement. Mr Talyor said BCL was ready to return to do business in the event the exploration moratorium on Bougainville was lifted.
He said the company (BCL) at the moment was treating the need to re-establish understanding with its stakeholders including the Panguna mine landowners as an important step to return to Bougainville. "Restoring communication with parties involved in the Panguna mine including the landowners is an important area that we are looking at," he said.
Mr Taylor did not specify other areas in PNG which the company was planning to carryout business under its three-year plan.
BCL made a net profit of K3.6 million for last year.
But the board has decided against paying any dividend while shareholder funds increased to K378.2 million in 2006. The tax issue between the PNG Government and the company will also be addressed this year. Mr Taylor said mine assets were still not accessible at the Panguna mine.
He said to understand the true value of these assets and the extent to which they may be used for future mining and exploration, access to the mine site was needed.
"For this, BCL needs the support of local landowners and will be working to rebuild relations with them," Mr Taylor said.
"The ultimate aim is to obtain landowner support for exploration and mining,"he said. Mr Taylor said he expected the BCA re-negotiations to be revived to move on with the plans. He said while there had been reports about a possible resumption of exploration and mining on Bougainville, there was still a moratorium on new exploration and mining outside BCL's lease area. The National Government has agreed to review this moratorium but this has also been stalled.
Meanwhile, lawyer John Leahy has joined the board of BCL while David McLellan will not seek re-election during the company's annual general meeting next month.
The World's 3rd biggest Copper and Gold mine to reopen in three years!
Statement by The European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper
2nd April 2007
Spokesman: Axel G. Sturm
Suite 606 * Avinguda Sant Jaume 2 * AD700 Escaldes-Engordany * Principality of Andorra / Europe
Phone: +376 82 88 87 * Fax: +376 82 88 57 * Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper welcome the intention of Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL), owned 53 per cent by the international mining giant Rio Tinto, to return to exploration and mining in Bougainville within the next three years. The mine was closed since 1989 due to riots 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 ESBC-spokesman Axel G. Sturm Monday morning in Andorra. The Monday edition of the Port Moresby (PNG) based Post-Courier cited the BCL Chairman Peter R. Taylor and the company's 2006 Annual Report that had been released last week. "If serious companies like BCL 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."