21 Sep 2005

PNG's Bougainville province considers mineral exploration bids

3:33 pm on 21 September 2005

The Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville is considering several requests to undertake exploration for minerals.

Bougainville's autonomous government has now been in place for 100 days and is laying the ground work for creating a viable economy.

One of its earliest moves was to set up an economic taskforce and that body's publicity manager, Robert Atsir, says policy is being developed that would encourage investors into the province.

He says there have been expressions of interests from companies wanting to come to develop impact projects.

Mr Atsir says so far they have received three approaches from companies wanting to explore for gold, copper, oil and gas.

"They have been giving us the argument that this would create job opportunities. It would create demand for energy and things like that, where therefore if the government wants to bring in electricity supply, there will be organisations established that will be able to consume that for it to be viable and so on an d so forth."