30 Nov 2010

Bougainville toys with plan to reopen Panguna next year

7:06 pm on 30 November 2010

Efforts are being revived in the Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville to reopen the Panguna gold and copper mine next year.

The Post Courier reports that 100 representatives from the six Panguna mine lease affected areas met in Buka for two days for official negotiations on reviewing the Bougainville Copper Agreement.

The mine closed as the island descended into a decade-long separatist war which ended with a truce in 1997 and a peace agreement in 2001 that allows for a possible move to independence.

The newly-elected Bougainville President, John Momis, has told the newspaper, The National, that talks were heading in the right direction, adding that the mine needs to be re-opened to kick-start development in Bougainville.