2 Dec 2010

Panguna landowners want shareholding if controversial Bougainville mine reopens

7:02 am on 2 December 2010

A spokesperson for a landowning group near the Panguna gold and copper mine in Papua New Guinea's Bougainville says they want a shareholding in the mining company before they'll agree to it reopening.

The ten year-long Bougainville Civil War was sparked in 1988 by concerns over the mine.

There have been media reports suggesting a re-opening could happen next year but spokesperson for the Panguna Landowners Association, Lawrence Daveona, says it's likely to be several years away.

Progress is being made with 100 landowners meeting at the weekend to formulate their position ahead of the negotiations.

Mr Daveona says a key demand will be that the PNG government's shareholding be split between the landowners and the provincial government.

"We are saying this because we know for a fact that the national government had already made its money from its shareholding in BCL [Bougainville Copper Limited] of 19.1 percent, thirty times over, for something they did not actually pay that much for."