24 Sep 2014

Claims about Bougainville mining deeply flawed - Momis

9:11 pm on 24 September 2014

Bougainville's President, John Momis, says an NGO's report calling for the government in the autonomous Papua New Guinea province to drop plans to resume mining, is deeply flawed.

Jubilee Australia issued the report, called Voices of Bougainville, based on interviews with people living near the Panguna mine.

It suggests people in the area are deeply unhappy about talk of a return to mining.

It says people remain traumatised and their voices have not been heard.

But Mr Momis says the extrapolation of 63 voices to speak for all of Bougainville is irresponsible.

He says the affected landowners have been at the centre of all discussions regarding Panguna for five years.

Mr Momis says the overwhelming response is support for reopening, but only if it can avoid the extremely negative effects of earlier mining and ensures Bougainvilleans receive a fair share of the benefits.

And Mr Momis says it is not true the ABG has initiated a campaign to reopen the Panguna mine, as Jubilee claims.

He says if the strict conditions sought by the landowners and the ABG cannot be satisfied, it will not happen.