BCL and INVINCIBLE are in a tug of war to mine the giant resources of copper, gold, silver and other precious metals in the ground on Bougainville.
Autonomous Bougainville Government and the former BRA Commanders involvement with Invincible left out BCL and PNG. On the ground only 510 members of the old Panguna landowners association wants BCL to retutrn. Late Francis Ona’s Meekamui Government who are still in control of the mine area maintain that Panguna mine will remain close and no-one will re-open it.
BCL’s Peter Taylor came up with a way forward for Bougainville if the mine re-opens which is something BCL should done it before. With Invincible, on the ground they have already set up a gold melt and assay plus a communication centre in ARAWA.
The question that ordinary people of Central Bougainville asked when mentioning BCL’s return is, What will BCL bring or give us which they haven’t done in the past? In my last trip to Panguna, several young men from down Jaba river told me that if they want to re-open Panguna mine they must put the waste down their pockets don’t dump it down Jaba river we had enough of destruction. BCL has a lot of opposition from what its reading from outside Bougainville.
INVINCIBLE is a new Company in mining and in a short period turned the hearts and minds of Bougainville leaders and they voted in favor of them and sign the deal. A senior employee of the Invincible Subsidary prospecting for gold in a Pacific Island nation told me that we will go to Bougainville and re-open Panguna mine and turn Bougainville into a Island of dreams. I told him that BCL and Invincible will fight it out in the court as BCL is still claiming Panguna mine its property under Western laws. His replied is, BCL is with PNG and For PNG,Invincible is for ABG and the rest of Bougainville people.
Who is Invincible and BCL? Some says BCL is behind Invincible, others says they are one under different names etc. Who ever they are their only interest is to mine the giant resources of copper, gold, silver and other precious metals which is very well known by all the people who are interested in mining in the world. When these people are crazy for the minerals they have very little concern for the inhabitants of the land and it will causes pain in their neck as they [ordinary Bougainvilleans] treasure the land as their mother, lifeline and future.
Some Foregners argued that Bougainville will have financial Independence if Panguna mine re-oepns with-out that a political Indpendence cannot be possible.However,Meekamui Government stand is Independence first before mining can be negotiate.With-out political Independence PNG and its foreign counterparts who have mining interest on Bougainville will benefit and Bougainville will be same as prior to the uprising. A good example is happening right now with ABG,INVINCIBLE and PNG. PNG still has the mining powers.
BCL and INVINCIBLE maybe causing a rift among the few Bougainvilleans at the high places,fortunately at the grassroots level they want outsiders who are bent on making profits to have RESPECT AND HONOUR for their land and Children.