10 May 2007

Bougainville Copper Limited company work towards mineral exploration and mining

11:17 am on 10 May 2007

The Bougainville Copper Limited company says it's working towards resuming mineral exploration and mining on the autonomous Papua New Guinea province.

The BCL Chairman Peter Taylor says that the time was right to take advantage of opportunities that might arise on the special mining lease at Panguna and on seven adjacent exploration licence areas.

The company was forced to abandon mining at Panguna after a civil war was sparked in 1989 by landowners who were angry over mine benefits and environmental damage.

Mr Taylor told shareholders that a moratorium on mineral exploration in Bougainville was still in place but he says BCL was confident of a good outcome from negotiations with the PNG government and Bougainville stakeholders over a revised Bougainville Copper Agreement.

In 2006 the company reported an after-tax profit of 1.3 million US dollars with shareholder funds increasing to 133 million US.

BCL is 53.6-percent owned by Rio Tinto Ltd, 27.4-percent owned by public shareholders and 19-percent owned by the PNG government.