Business Islands News

Panguna Mine: O’Neill, PNG Government Will Not Interfere

The people of Panguna and Buin, have taken Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill’s assurance, that the National Government will not be involved in deciding whether mining resumes or not.

Instead, the Prime Minister, in his recent visit to Panguna, assured the people that his visit was to ensure that the region’s health, education and infrastructure needs were identified. He assured the people of Panguna that he would not, in any way, interfere with the work of the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG).


In line for his Goodwill Visit, PM O’neill, ABG Chief Dr Mommis and the Delegation arrived via chopper.


Here, they were welcomed by traditional singsing groups from South and North Bouganville. Also featured were the Upes, a dynamic and rich symbol in the Bouganvillle Flag.


Peter O’Neill visited Buin in South Bougainville for the second time; this was his first as PNG’s Prime Minister.


His arrival was warmly welcomed and appreciated.


The Prime Minister spoke highly on Law and Order, a pillar of the Bougainville Peace Agreement.


Panguna in Central Bougainville is home to the world’s largest closed open cut mine.


Locals described the Prime Minister as the first, since the Bougainville Crisis.


Mr. O’Neill said the National Government is ready to redevelop Panguna and Bouganville.


On the Mine issue, it’s a dialogue between the ABG Government, landowners and Bougainvilleans. The National Government will only facilitate in areas needed.


The Panguna people accepted the PM’s request to provide restoration packages as services have crippled during the Bougainville crisis. However, this will proceed before the Panguna Mine reopen talks.


Meanwhile The PM also accepted the Mekamui Government’s request, for a dialogue to discuss restoration issues.


Moreover, a K500,000 commitment for Panguna Primary School for infrastructure development.


PM O’Neill said another visit would be made this year.

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