14 Feb 2011

Meeting planned by Panguna landowners for talks with Bougainville leaders

7:27 pm on 14 February 2011

A meeting is planned next week in Arawa in the autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville to discuss landowner concerns around the upcoming review of the Bougainville Copper Ltd agreement.

Some landowner leaders say the President of the Autonomous Bougainville Government John Momis has not been consulting them over the bid to secure the transferral of the PNG government's 19 percent share in BCL to the ABG.

Theresa Jaintong from the Arawa landowners association says a meeting is scheduled for February 23rd:

"And we would like to see all the leaders, including the national parliamentarians and ABG, our members on Bougainville and also the president and also the regional member Fidelis Semoso. We'd like them all to come to Arawa so we can strike a... you know, instead of fighting in the media because is won't work that way."

President Momis denies that he's not consulting landowners.

He says the bulk of the people on Bougainville want the mine to be reopened, and that the ABG is working to ensure equitable sharing among landowners.