12 Jul 2011

Opening of huge Bougainville mine off agenda until Panguna re-united

10:33 am on 12 July 2011

A road map has been developed to bring reconciliation and development to the Panguna district in the central part of the main island of Papua New Guinea's Bougainville.

It was the key outcome of a workshop in Buka last week which aimed to resolve outstanding issues around the huge Panguna copper and gold mine, which has lain idle since the start of the civil war 22 years ago.

There's a push to re-open the mine but the workshop made clear that this question can't be considered until the region is unified.

A former Bougainville cabinet minister, Madeleine Toroansi, says the key is bringing the various village communities together so they form a united voice.

"So the first part of that is getting the unification of Panguna landowners and those that are affected in relation to Panguna and getting them through the process of rehabilitation, through the process of reconciliation."

Former Bougainville cabinet minister, Madeleine Toroansi.