18 Feb 2019

NGO warns about 'radical' changes to Bougainville mining laws

From , 5:02 am on 18 February 2019

An NGO has warned that proposed changes by the Autonomous Bougainville Government to local mining laws constitute a reckless land grab.

The government last month divulged its plans to re-open the long shut Panguna copper mine and operate it with a company majority owned by Bougainville.

It sought to pass amendments to the Mining Act to accommodate the foreign partner, Australia-based Caballus Mining.

The amendments, which have been referred to a parliamentary committee for further discussion, have been described as radical by the Executive Director of Jubilee Australia.

Dr Luke Fletcher says the changes would cut out Bougainville landowners from having a say in mining.

He told Johnny Blades that claims by Bougainville president John Momis that entering the deal with the investor was based on an urgent need to find funding for the region's upcoming independence referendum don't make sense.

Bougainville's Panguna Copper mine

Bougainville's Panguna Copper mine Photo: Supplied