30 Jun 2010

New Bougainville President plans probe of Bougainville Investment Corporation

8:13 pm on 30 June 2010

The newly elected President of the autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville, John Momis, says he's planning an inquiry into a controversial local investment arrangement by Canadian company, Invincible Resources.

In 2008, Invincible was given a 70 percent shareholding in the agency set up to advance the province's economic development, Bogenvil Resource Development Corporation.

The BRDC, which aims to foster development in sectors such as mining, farming and fishing, has since been changed to Bougainville Investment Corporation (BIC).

It was planned that Invincible's majority stake in BIC would eventually be sold down, with the hope that Bougainvilleans will take majority control.

But the New Dawn news publication reports that Mr Momis has rejected outright the Invincible deal, describing it as void.

The new president says that he is sufficiently concerned that he is seeking cabinet approval for a full scale review into BIC.

He says it is not only illegal but impracticable for any government to attempt to make a contract that purports to tie the government's hands as to future policy.