Bougainville pressing ahead with Mining Act changes

1:34 pm on 5 June 2019

The Bougainville parliament is due to consider controversial amendments to the Mining Act when parliament resumes next week.

Bougainville's Panguna Copper mine

Bougainville's Panguna Copper mine Photo: Supplied

The government in the autonomous Papua New Guinea region is seeking to make changes which they say will give the landowners greater control but there has been widespread opposition to the amendments.

The government wants to take a direct hand in mining and said the changes will ensure landowners retain control of the minerals once they are extracted.

They want to establish their own company in conjunction with an Australian business, but landowners with links to other foreign companies said they will be shut out of the mining sector.

Vice president, Raymond Masono, said recent consultations have helped to inform people and he's confident the majority of Bougainvilleans would now support their planned changes.

Mr Masono rejected a suggestion that the amendments are a controversy Bougainville doesn't need as it prepares for the referendum on possible independence.

He said the critical thing for Bougainville is to lay the economic foundations to sustain whatever government emerges from referendum.

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