The Bougainville Government says a company competing to mine the troubled Panguna mine is speculating, has no track record and no funds.
The autonomous government wants the mine re-opened to boost the economy ahead of the vote on independence from Papua New Guinea set for 2019.
But the landowners' group at the site of the mine, the Special Mining Lease Osikaiyang Landowners Association, or SML, does not want to see original miner Bougainville Copper Ltd, or BCL, return.
BCL is now part owned by the government which is backing the plans to resume mining.
The SML instead has a partnership with Australian company RTG.
But Bougainville President John Momis said RTG didn't have any money.
"RTG doesn't have any money. The RTG representative in fact, a fellow by the name of Renzie Duncan has Philip Miriori and a few of his cobbers on his payroll and their intention is to get the support of the landowners and the ABG and as a speculator go and find a developer. RTG itself as a company does not have the money."