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This year's two primary tasks for the Autonomous Bougainville Government are progressing Bougainville’s Independence Mission and reopening the Panguna Mine.

Bougainville President Ishmael Toroama said that 98 percent of Bougainvillean’s desire for an independent sovereign state of Bougainville is firmly established by the results of the 2019 Bougainville Referendum.

President Toroama added that while the Referendum Results spell out the desire for Bougainville sovereignty the government and the people must work together to empower Bougainville’s socioeconomic capacity to support its future as an independent nation.

“The Panguna Mine is a multi-billion-kina resource that has remained dormant for almost 40 years now,” President Toroama said.

“Its mineral resources have the potential to transform the lives of Bougainvilleans through high-impact infrastructure development projects and improve and increase the human resource capacity of our people,” President Toroama stated.

“The fate of the Panguna Mine became entwined with Bougainville’s quest for independence when the Bougainville revolution began in 1989. Our Late Revolutionary Leader Francis Ona incentivized the Mine as the key to funding Bougainville’s Independence when we took up arms against our oppressors,” President Toroama said.

President Toroama said that if the Panguna Mine could fund Papua New Guinea’s independence, it should rightfully fund Bougainville’s Independence and development.

The post-referendum consultations between the National Government and the Autonomous Bougainville Government is still progressing.

With the National Government failing to ratify the referendum results last year, this process will likely be taking place this year.

President Toroama also explained that while his government focuses on reopening the mine this does not mean it will ignore the development of other industries in the economic sector such as tourism, agriculture and even manufacturing. 

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