The reopening of the Panguna Mine has become inevitable following an agreement between the landowners and the Autonomous Bougainville Government to reopen the multibillion kina defunct mine.
Following the meeting of the ABG and the Panguna Mine Landowner Clan Chiefs held at Tunuru Catholic Mission, Kieta District on Wednesday 04 May 2O22 and the signing of the Post Summit Resolution between the ABG and the landowners both parties have agreed to reopen the mine.
The ABG and the Panguna landowners have also agreed that the government with the landowners will jointly establish a completely new local Bougainville entity to develop the mine, and not an existing entity that has had history with the Panguna Mine.
The completely new local Bougainville entity once established, will be jointly owned by the Panguna Mine Landowners and ABG on behalf of the people of Bougainville.
The five major clans; Mantaá, Basikang, Barapang, Bakoringku and Kurabang and their 22 sub clans have unanimously agreed to the undertaking in partnership with the Autonomous Bougainville Government.
Bougainville President Ishmael Toroama who signed on behalf of the Autonomous Bougainville Government has congratulated the landowners on their courage to finally put aside their differences and work with the government.
‘’The Panguna Mine was the economic guarantee for Papua New Guinea’s independence in 1975, in the same manner the Panguna will be the economic guarantor for Bougainville’s Independence,’’ declared President Toroama.
‘’In 1988 when the Bougainville Revolutionary Army High Command decided to shut down the Panguna Mine, the Late Francis Ona incentivized the mine as the key to Bougainville’s independence,’’ President Toroama revealed.
‘’Today as we stand on the threshold of creating a new future for Bougainville where we are finally on the path to independence I stand here to thank the landowners of Panguna in making a strong decision on the fate of the mine,’’ President Toroama said.
President Toroama assured the landowners that the Autonomous Bougainville Government will work in partnership with the landowners in creating the locally owned entity to redevelop the mine.
He said the government will not compromise the rights of the landowners but will work towards ensuring a benefit sharing agreement that benefits all of Bougainville.
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