7 Jul 2017

Bougainville landowner group wants compromise with government

From , 5:03 am on 7 July 2017

A Bougainville landowner group wants to reach a compromise with the autonomous government over re-opening the Panguna mine.

The government in the Papua New Guinea region wants to bring back Bougainville Copper Ltd to run the mine, but the Special Mining Lease Osikaiyang Landowners Association, which owns the mine site, and therefore the minerals in the ground around it, has teamed up with another miner, RTG.

The re-opening is viewed by both parties as the best way for Bougainville to achieve fiscal self reliance ahead of a vote on independence from PNG in June 2019.

The wrangling between both parties has intensified in recent weeks but the chair of the SMLOLA, Philip Miriori, says they want talks to iron out issues.

He spoke with Don Wiseman, who began by asking about recent comments by Bougainville President John Momis that Mr Miriori's landowner group is selfish and only thinking of itself.

Listen to the full interview here.

Panguna mine.

Panguna mine. Photo: Wellington Chocolate Factory