Bougainville landowners still backing RTG for Panguna

1:08 pm on 10 January 2019

A Papua New Guinea landowners group in Panguna in Bougainville says it's still committed to working with Australian mining developer RTG on a possible re-opening of the local copper and gold mine.

The management of the Special Mining Lease Osikaiyang Landowners Association held its annual general meeting late last month.

An abandoned building at Panguna mine site in Bougainville

An abandoned building at Panguna mine site in Bougainville Photo: supplied

It chose Philip Miriori to continue as chairman for the next three years.

Mr Miriori said people from seven villages and ward areas were represented on the board, including a number of women and young people

Before a moratorium placed on a possible re-opening of Panguna last year by the autonomous Bougainville government, the Osikaiyang landowners had been working actively with RTG to get the exploration licence for the re-development.

The ABG previously expressed its opposition to working with RTG, because it was working with a rival, the former mining company, Bougainville Copper Ltd.

But Mr Miriori said his group was now looking forward to continuing to 'work closely with the ABG in all matters affecting Panguna and supporting the ABG in the upcoming referendum.'