Bougainville Featured Islands News

Panguna Landowners: We will have final say on any mining activity

Landowners of the Panguna Mine will determine the re-opening of the Panguna mine.

This is from chairman of the Special Mining Lease Osikaiyang Land Owners Association (SMLOLA) in Panguna, Philip Miriori.

In a statement to EMTV News this afternoon, Miriori maintained all parties and talks will go through them. This is because the people in the Special Mining Lease area were greatly affected by the mine’s impacts when it was operating in the 1980’s.

“We do not want the past to repeat itself but it must be a reminder to us now to get a better deal for the SMLOLA members and the rest of Bougainville,” he said.

He said the past has gone, and history should not be repeated for Bougainville’s interest.

Miriori claims meetings have been conducted with resolutions and agreements passed which the SMLOLA were not a party to.

“They do not speak for me and my people but serve other interests,” he said.

He said this is very disrespectful to the people of the SML area because they have no voice in the decisions that are being discussed by outsiders about their land where their livelihood depends on

He also highlighted any decision or document signed to re-open the Panguna Mine will be in contempt of court.

The Court Order restraints parties to the MOA which was going to be signed in June this year to see BCL as the preferred operator to re-open the mine.

This is because the question of the interest of landowners in the mining project will be an agenda of discussion at the Court Ordered mediation in Panguna next month.

He also highlighted he has the mandate to represent his people through the SMLOLA and the National Court recognizes him as Chairman and not Lawrence Daveona.

Miriori maintains he is still the SMLPLA Chairman until December 2018 when election of a Chairman will be conducted again.

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