By Meriba Tulo – EMTV News, Port Moresby
Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) – operators of the former Panguna Mine, have once again reaffirmed their commitment to the mine. Speaking to EMTV News, BCL Chairman, Sir Melchior Togolo, says despite perceptions of division between different factions of landowner groups, the ABG, and other interest groups – BCL believes it has the necessary support to ensure a successful redevelopment of Panguna. His comments were made following the company’s Annual General Meeting in Port Moresby.
15th of May 2019 will mark exactly 30 years since production at the Panguna Mine came to a halt. Since then, whilst no mining activities in Panguna have taken place, Bougainville Copper Limited has continued to trade on the Australian Stock Exchange – using its array of equity investments to keep afloat in the hope that the company can once again look to redeveloping Panguna.
The company has for many years made its intentions known that it is interested in redeveloping Panguna Mine – a mine that is at the heart of the decade-long civil war on Bougainville.
In recent years, in light of the Autonomous arrangements that Bougainville now has, the island region has legislated its own Mining Act that regulates all activities on Bougainville. At present, BCL still holds several rights to critical information on Panguna – including geological reports on the deposits within the exploration licence area – EL1. This, in addition to a significant property portfolio in Arawa, and surrounding townships.
Given that BCL still holds rights to critical information regarding the deposits within the Panguna area, BCL has confirmed that there has been interest shown from potential investors in working towards reviving Panguna.
2019 is a critical year for the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, as the region prepares for a referendum on its political future.
A fact not lost on BCL, according to Chairman Sir Melchior, whilst discussions on resource project have taken a backseat – BCL is continuing to engage with communities – especially within its exploration licence area.