5 Mar 2013

Momis says Bougainville landowners in control of mining

2:07 pm on 5 March 2013

The President of Papua New Guinea's autonomous Bougainville government says its mining policy will give mineral ownership to customary landowners.

John Momis has told the newspaper, The National, that landowners will have the right to say no to exploration and to be fully involved in all decisions on mining projects.

His comments come amid discussions to revive the Panguna mine, which was closed in the late 1980s amid a budding civil war.

Mr Momis was also responding to concerns by a former Bougainville Revolutionary Army rebel commander Sam Kauona, who alleged that Australia was drafting the autonomous region's new mining policy.

He says Bougainvilleans are playing leading roles in the provincial government's mining department, the law and justice division and the Office of Panguna Negotiations.