12 02 2014

By Stephanie Elizah

Media Release/12th February, 2014:

The Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) remains fully committed to supporting negotiations regarding the possible reopening of Panguna Mine, said President of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville Chief Dr. John Momis.
President Momis said the ABG reinforced this commitment by allocating from its budget K5 million per year in 2014 and 2015 to continue supporting the process. This is in addition to a specific allocation of K350,000 in infrastructure support for the associations in 2014.
The President issued this statement today at the official opening of the Inaugural Panguna Landowners consultative forum held at the Kuri conference centre, Buka, North Bougainville.
The forum was attended by representatives of the Panguna landowner associations, Bougainville Acting Chief Administrator Mr. Chris Siriosi and Divisional heads of the Bougainville Administration.
President Momis added that at the same time, the ABG is increasingly concerned about the divisive behaviour of a minority of landowner leaders who are pursuing their own political and financial agendas at the expense of landowners and all Bougainvilleans.
“This minority of leaders risk destroying the positive partnership that landowners and the ABG have worked so hard to create and undermine preparations for negotiations with Bougainville Copper Limited and the National Government.
A successful outcome from negotiations is also threatened by the many outsiders who, in alliance with these disruptive leaders or with armed factions, are pursuing their own selfish financial interests”.
President Momis stated also another concern of the ABG.
“The only way in which people’s understandable expectations for compensation and restoration can be achieved is if a profitable project is established at Panguna. This cannot happen if people insist on large compensation payments as a condition for allowing mining to start.
Bougainville stakeholders must understand that we need a profitable project before restoration and compensation can occur.”
He said bearing all of this in mind, the ABG must be careful that it does not rely solely on Panguna as its source of revenue for its political future, even though the time frame for the referendum might encourage it do so.
“I have therefore instructed the Bougainville Administration to actively pursue other opportunities that may exist to capitalise on Bougainville’s mineral resources.
“Once Bougainville has its own mining legislation, the ABG will have the power to selectively open geologically promising areas for exploration. Where landowners have indicated their support for development, the ABG intends to grant exploration licences to reputable mining companies, possibly in partnership with landowner associations.”
The President reiterated that the ABG is fully committed to achieving a positive outcome for Panguna Landowners.



2 responses

12 02 2014
Peter Nerau

Momis cannot continue to tell lies to the people of Bougainville and PNG about the reopening of the Panguna Mine. He failed to deliver in his first 100 days after forming his government. We cannot believe his political rehtorics anymore. He has nothing to show for. The recent visit to B’ville by the Prime Minister has proven that Momis Government failed to acquit the K100 million public funds for impact projects and there is nothing to show for. The majority of B’villeans do not support BCL nor the opening of the Panguna Mine. Momis should talk about other non mining agri and fishery projects. Mining is the root cause of problems in Bougainville. Please Momis stop telling lies to the media and the general public.

14 02 2014
dave sansone

“Reputable mining companies”? Mining’s reputation is the same around the world–destruction of land, water, and people.

I must honor the President for thinking about supporting the people, that is the most important job of a leader is it not?.

But it seems the title president makes people scheme of ways to pay for their “unselfish” “improvement projects” like subsidized natural resources extraction,roads for extraction, police forces. As history has shown, this leads to displaced people and ghettos which breed drug abuse, violence, theft, and suicide..

All of this destruction of land, water, and people for schools, hospitals, electricity? In Hawai’i, centuries of that goal have left the Hawaiian people largely disposessed of their land, the highest rates of diabetes in the world, and extremely high incarceration. Western development is a tool of genocide–it kills culture.

Hawai’i Island is working on finding ecologically and culturally sound ways to meet the needs of the people facing the worst conditions with little opportunity. Centuries of farming like the land is a mine has poisoned many, so people from every culture, class, creed, and color are stepping up to create the solutions we need as an island from what is here.
People are the important part.

The location within the US empire does make funding easier, but the collective disempowerment of all people here is the biggest problem. Most people are stuck working 40+ hours a week doing a job they don’t like and falling behind. Few people have time to even talk to their neighbors (really).


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