2 Sep 2013

Bougainville landowner chair denies MOU is about the Panguna mine

4:48 am on 2 September 2013

The chairman of the group representing landowners around the Panguna mine in Papua New Guinea's Bougainville says an agreement with a Chinese company has nothing to do with mining.

There was widespread anger after news a memorandum of understanding had been signed by the landowners' chair, Lawrence Daveona and a Chinese company - Beijing Aerospace Great Wall Mineral Investment.

The autonomous Bougainville government believed it involved plans to re-open mining at Panguna without its approval, but Mr Daveona says that is not the case.

He says the MOU is about tourism, agriculture and rehabilitating land that has been wrecked by tailings.

"I would like the people of Bougainville to benefit first in agriculture and tourism. I made that very clear during our discussions and unless I see people of Bougainville benefitting first then I won't be talking about the re-opening of Panguna. That is my stand."

Lawrence Daveona.