10 Mar 2011

Dialogue starts in PNG's Bougainville on Panguna Mine

11:54 am on 10 March 2011

The President of the autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville, John Momis, says talks with Bougainville Copper have started a dialogue which would eventually lead to the re-opening of the Panguna Mine.

The mine was closed in 1988 after it became the spark which ignited a decade long civil war but President Momis said there was now a consensus on Bougainville in favour of a large scale mining.

The Post Courier paper reports President Momis saying that the key to success for the Bougainville Peace Agreement was finding economic opportunities for his people.

Mr Momis was willing to consider any major development but at this stage the re-opening of the Panguna copper mine is the only project likely to start operating in time before a referendum on independence which is due to take place between 2015 and 2020.