23 Aug 2016

Hopes for solution over Bougainville share deal

9:32 am on 23 August 2016

An MP in the Papua New Guinea government said he was sure an amicable settlement would be reached in a spat over Bougainville Copper Ltd shares.

The Bougainville government was furious it had not been gifted shares in the company by the national government which instead gave them to Bougainville landowners.

The Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has attacked Bougainville leader John Momis, accusing him of politicising the peace process, but the MP for Central Bougainville and PNG Minister of Communication, Jimmy Miringtoro, is confident the parties will come together.

"Now I believe this 17.4 percent is just a start, the way I see it. There will be negotiations that will be taking place between the ABG [Autonomous Bougainville Government] and the landowners and I believe they will find an amicable solution," he said.

The BCL shares had belonged to Rio Tinto which has walked away from Bougainville with no plans to clean up the environmental and social mess left by its huge Panguna mine.

Bougainville's Panguna copper mine

Bougainville's Panguna copper mine Photo: Supplied

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