17 Apr 2024

Bougainville govt on a Panguna goldmine awareness campaign

3:35 pm on 17 April 2024
Panguna mine.

Panguna mine. Photo: Wellington Chocolate Factory

The government in the autonomous Papua New Guinea region of Bougainville is carrying out an engagement programme in the Panguna Mine-affected areas.

The plan is to reach people in Central Bougainville and the Panguna landowning communities, who the government describe as crucial stakeholders in the process to re-open the mine.

The government wants to explain why it has re-issued a mining exploration licence to Bougainville Copper Ltd (BCL)

In January the government gave BCL a 5-year extension of its exploration licence, an EL01.

The government is aiming to correct any misinformation in the mine affected communities.

It wants to stress the link Bougainville's push for independence and the need for this to be backed by a strong and sound economic base, and this is why it is pushing for the mine to re-open.

The Department of Mineral & Energy Resources presented a cost-benefit analysis of the proposed Panguna redevelopment project, comparing it to the former Panguna mine.

Six years ago, the previous John Momis led government had refused BCL an extension of its licence, resulting in legal action, which is ongoing.