13 Dec 2017

Bougainville ban on businessman called heavy handed

2:55 pm on 13 December 2017

An Australian mining company says a ban on businessman Renzie Duncan entering Bougainville imposed by Papua New Guinea's acting chief migration officer is unfair.

Panguna mine site

The Panguna mine Photo: supplied

Mr Duncan has worked with the Special Mining Lease Osikiang Landowners Association which opposes the autonomous government's plans for the development of the Panguna mine.

Mr Duncan was banned back in May with the Immigration Authority saying his presence on Bougainville may be detrimental to the government's efforts relating to mining.

The mining company, RTG, which also works with Osikiang and Renzie Duncan, calls the action overly heavy handed.

RTG chairman Michael Carrick said Mr Duncan had worked with the community around Panguna for about five years and won their support.

"Not because of money provided to them but because he has lived and worked with them for many many years. Renzie and the landowners [SMLOLA] could not have worked more closely with the previous two mining ministers and President Momis. Over 20 meetings to ensure that he was working in accordance with the objectives of the ABG. It was only on the appointment of the new mining minister [Raymond Masono] that that attitude changed."