by Fabian Hakalits – EM TV News, Port Moresby
Autonomous Bougainville Government President, Chief John Momis, has called on the national government to refrain from discussions concerning the controversial Panguna Mine.
Momis explained that Bougainville has its own mining law that doesn’t allow outside or foreign influence regarding the Panguna Mine.
The new law called the ‘Bougainville Mining Act 2014’ came into affect after the Bougainville House of Representative passed the bill.
The law recognises customary landowners as legitimate owners, with the right to say no to exploration and mining licenses.
President Momis said PNG Mining Law holds no application, because Bougainville’s mining law is independent.
Opposition Leader, Don Polye, also supported Chief Momis saying that the national government has no right over Panguna Mine and any secret meetings to be conducted are unrecognised.
Panguna Mine is an issue that must be treated with a high profile of maturity because it still remains a sensitive issue.
Polye said matters concerning Panguna Mine are for Bougainvilleans, landowners and its legitimate government to discuss.