15 Jun 2018

More support for Bougainville Copper in scrap over Panguna

10:30 am on 15 June 2018

Seven nominated representatives of the 367 customary titleholders in Bougainville's Panguna Mine lease area say Philip Miriori and Lawrence Daveona do not speak on their behalf.

Inside the pit of abandoned Panguna mine in Bougainville

Inside the pit of abandoned Panguna mine in Bougainville Photo: supplied

Mr Miriori claimed to be the chair of the Special Mining Lease Osikaiang Landowners Association while Mr Daveona previously held the role.

According to New Dawn FM, the representative group has called on the pair to stop making false and misleading statements that create further disunity in Panguna and undermine the peace process.

The representatives said customary landowners remained committed to seeing Panguna redeveloped in partnership with Bouganiville Copper Limited, a company in which Bougainvilleans have a significant shareholding.

The Osikaiang leadership claims they have the backing of the majority of the landowners.

But the titleholders representatives say Mr Miriori and Mr Daveona continue to undermine BCL to advance the cause of Australian mining company, RTG, a move with no support within their group.

The titleholders believe BCL is the best option to redevelop Panguna with the ABG and the people of Bougainville would be the major beneficiaries.

The titleholders who made this statement were, Josepth Nuasi Damana, Anthony Anung Kumpe, Lucy Mangona Bakamari, Bernadette Oni, Stephen Tampura, Tony Tapakau Tori and Michael Pariu Bimei.

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