6 Mar 2019

Aussie miner meets with Bougainville govt over Panguna

9:08 am on 6 March 2019

The Australian miner RTG says it has been assured by the Autonomous Bougainville Government in Papua New Guinea that it hopes to work closely with landowners to develop a lasting solution for the closed Panguna mine.

Panguna mine.

Panguna mine. Photo: Wellington Chocolate Factory

RTG is linked with the Special Mining Lease Osikaiang Landowners Association in trying to re-open the controversial mine but has faced opposition from the government.

A meeting was called after an outcry over the Bougainville government's plans to amend the Mining Act and establish its own company in association with a new Australian entity, called Caballus.

Osikaiang said the government's plans would strip landowners of their rights.

Its leader Philip Miriori said this view was shared by all the other Panguna landowning groups.

Mr Miriori said the Port Moresby meeting was a chance to show RTG has an outstanding track record and access to capital.

His group has proposed working with the autonomous government to secure an initial 100 percent interest in the Panguna mine, with RTG buying in later.

He said this would give the government the funding it needs for the referendum and other initiatives it is keen to work on.

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