Panguna Reopening Inevitable
by PNG Business News - May 09, 2022
Photo credit: RNZ / Johnny Blades
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.
Article courtesy of ABG
PNG Business News - April 26, 2021
Bougainville President Says Panguna Mine Talks on Hold
President Ishmael Toroama of Bougainville has said that any talks on the infamous Panguna mine will be placed on hold until the government is satisfied that all parties concerned are happy and determined to speak about reopening the mine. When unveiling the Autonomous Bougainville Government's Independence-ready mission to the citizens of Roreinang in the South Nasioi constituency of inland Central Bougainville last Thursday, Mr Toroama made this remark. He stated that it is no secret that the region's taxes only amount to K20 million, which is insufficient to keep it afloat economically. Although President Toroama said Bougainville is looking at ventures that will help it become economically self-sufficient as it works toward independence, he said the country cannot discuss Panguna just yet. The government is looking at the reconstruction of the Manetai Limestone Project in Central Bougainville, as well as bringing in an investor to work on the Tonolei timber project in South Bougainville project before the end of the year. President Toroama also announced that the Kieta Port would begin exporting processed cocoa. He said that he wants people to work hard to grow Bougainvillean products. Mr Toroama also stated that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the area must register in order to pay taxes to the government, which will support Bougainville's tax and revenue bases. He claims that by doing so, the country can demonstrate that it is ready for freedom and can fend for itself. People only hinder the advent of an independent society, he claimed, because they disregard the constitution and are unable to act independently and in favour of the ultimate goal of self-rule. “When you destroy schools, hospitals or communication towers, you are not helping to ready Bougainville for independence. “We must respect government properties, we must work with development partners and we must work hard within our families, our communities and constituencies to make Bougainville Independence ready,” President Toroama said. “We must work on our cocoa blocks. We must grow our small businesses and we must create original products to market to grow our economy. “Since assuming office, I have been cleaning out our government and its agencies. “Government departments are aligning themselves with the government’s six-goal strategy to attain independence for Bougainville, and that is the preparation we are undertaking at the top level. “Only then can we be seen to be ready to be an independent nation.”
PNG Business News - August 02, 2021
ABG Applauds Miner's Decision
Photo Credit: Ilya Gridneff/AAP Rio Tinto and Bougainville Copper Limited's attempt to address remaining legacy concerns from the Panguna mine has been appreciated by the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG). From 1973 until 1989, President Ishmael Toroama claimed that the Panguna mine was exclusively responsible for funding Papua New Guinea's independence and providing its economic basis. Despite the mine's financial rewards, he added, Rio Tinto and BCL's inability to address environmental harm and local population relocation generated conflict between the people of Bougainville and the corporations, including the national government. “Left unintended these issues became one of the major factors that directly contributed to the 10-year Bougainville civil war,” he said. “In the last 30 years since the mine ceased operations, there is still extensive damage of the environment within the special mining lease and lower tailings (area).” According to Toroama, an environmental evaluation will be conducted to determine the entire extent of the mine's harm. He expressed his government's satisfaction that Rio Tinto and BCL were taking responsibility for their conduct, and he thanked the Human Rights Law Centre for giving legal advice and allowing complainants to submit their complaints to the organization for economic cooperation and development. He also thanked the Australia National Contact Point for helping to facilitate the conversation. The president praised Minister of Education Theonila Matbob for her efforts on behalf of the people in pursuing the subject. “It was through her perseverance that we have been able to reach an amicable solution with Rio Tinto and BCL,” he said. Meanwhile, Toroama put to rest rumours that his administration will give Panguna Mine concessions. “The mine will remain closed until such time as all outstanding issues have been addressed,” he said. “My government’s main agenda is to progress development and prepare our people for independence.” Reference: The National (29 July 2021). “ABG welcomes miner’s move”.
PNG Business News - March 11, 2021
Chances of Panguna Mine Re-Opening Improving
The head of one of the Bougainville landowner groups impacted by the Panguna mine says it is up to the landowners to decide whether or not to reopen the mine. The Panguna Mine was at the heart of the ten-year Bougainville civil war, and it was forced to close in 1989 when it was PNG's largest export earner. But, thanks to Panguna Development Company Ltd, which has brought together almost all of the landowner parties, there is renewed talk of reopening the closed mine. An agreement has been reached to help Bougainville Copper Ltd, a former miner, in its search for an exploration license, and to offer landowners shares in the venture. There has also been widespread opposition to resuming mining at Panguna, but Therese Jaintong, chair of the Siokate landowners' party, said it is up to them to decide. "The landowners are empowered by the Bougainville Mining Act. So whatever they say they have the power with the government - all of us talking together. We are coming close to finding some good solutions," she said. According to Jaintong, they decided to put together all interested parties to discuss the mine's future. "We are very genuine that what we want to see is BCL and Rio Tinto and the National Government and the ABG to sit together with us landowners, mine-affected, and we come with some plans to find a solution to this," she said. "There's no use fighting over it and then bringing new issues, new structures, new people - so we are very genuine together." SMLOLA, which had previously backed another developer, is the only mine-affected landowner party that has declined to sign the resolution. Jeff Clason, an organizer with Panguna Development Company Ltd, said that reopening the contentious mine was still the best way for the area to develop a viable economy. He said there was support for reopening, particularly because Bougainville's other options are limited. "In this age and what we are going through, we already voted 98 per cent for independence and if they can come up with another strategy to make Bougainville we'd listen to them," he said. "But they haven't come up with anything mate. As you the bottom line is every country needs money."
PNG Business News - May 16, 2022
Get over it... with PNG Forest Products' NiuBridge
Photo: NiuBridge on the Boluminski Hwy, New Ireland, PNG You know how they say, “Build a bridge… and get over it”? Well with PNGFP NiuBridge you don’t have to build it, because it’s already built! These expertly designed and engineered modular bridges are prefabricated to your specifications by PNG Forest Products. With a design life of 50+ years and installed cost base typically under half that of equivalent concrete or steel, NiuBridge is the ideal, most cost-effective solution for bridging installations in Papua New Guinea. The NiuBridge System includes deck, girders, kerbing and accessories, and comes with a pre-applied bitumen surface. Little maintenance is required thanks to PNGFP’s unique veneer preservation treatment, ensuring complete protection from termites and rotting. NiuBridge is manufactured from PNG plantation pine to both AS/NZS 2269 and AS/NZS 1604 standards and exploits the advantages of natural timber, which is not subject to fatigue failure, unlike other materials such as steel and concrete. Available in single lane, dual lane, or custom design, NiuBridge is suitable for a range of load conditions including Austroads T44 and AS 500 Bridge Design. NiuBridge and sister product NiuDeck are widely used by local and state governments across Australia. The peak body for the timber industry in Queensland has welcomed these products as a demonstration of the versatility and innovation of using Engineered Wood Products in bridge construction. “Using prefabricated timber systems in bridges is gaining greater market recognition due to their inherent strength, light weight and low carbon emissions footprint compared to other construction materials”, said the CEO of Timber Queensland, Mick Stephens. So next time you need to get over it, don’t waste valuable time and loads of money building a bridge. Buy a NiuBridge and get over it sooner and more cost effectively!
PNG Business News - May 16, 2022
Need help with to live, work and study in Australia and with student enrolments in EQI accredited schools? Ask Migration Plus!
Photo credit: Migration Plus Migration Plus is a leading Migration firm in Cairns, in the Far North Queensland region providing professional migration advice to students, individuals, government, businesses and corporate groups including the mining, hospitality, tourism, agricultural and air services industries. Migration Plus are also Education Agents with Qualified Education Counsellors on their team and they represent a number of reputable universities and colleges across Australia, including Education Queensland International (EQI) for student enrolments. They work closely with EQI and have successfully assisted PNG students enrol in schools across Queensland and also assisted with visa applications for the students for many years. With Australian borders opening to international visitors, temporary workers and international students, they can assist you with all migration matters for your business and family to visit, work or study in Australia. Now is the time to start your children’s enrolment to study in any of the EQI’s accredited schools from Prep to Year 12. Education Counsellors at Migration Plus can assist your children’s enrolment for Year 10, Semester 2, the important pathway into senior high school subjects through the Senior Education and Training Plan. Semester 2 commences in July 2022. With an in-depth knowledge of migration law, their specialist team provides a complete solution to your migration requirements and coordinate all facets of your migration needs. The Migration Plus team is very passionate about what they we do – the rewards of being able to assist in changing lives and helping clients achieve their goals is first and foremost. With over 90 years of combined experience available to you, you can count on their highly specialised team for accurate advice. Contact the Specialist team for further information.
Marcelle P. Villegas - May 16, 2022
Australia Opens Its Doors to International Students
Photo credit: Education Queensland International “International students are an important part of the Australian community, and we are excited to welcome them back to our classrooms, campuses and communities.” This was the announcement posted on their website by the Australian Government last February to herald the reopening of international travel to students. “Australia’s borders are open to fully vaccinated international students and Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa holders.”  “From 21 February 2022, all visa holders who are fully vaccinated for international travel purposes can travel to Australia without a travel exemption. Unvaccinated visa holders will still need to be in an exempt category or hold an individual travel exemption to enter Australia.”  The Australian Government said that international students will be subject to Australian Government border restrictions and any State and Territory quarantine and testing requirements. Quarantine and testing arrangements for State and Territories are frequently changing. Therefore, international students are advised to visit www.Australia.gov.au/states to be updated with the latest information and announcements of the Australian Government. In relation to this, the Department of Education, Skills and Employment has developed a “factsheet on the reopening of international travel to students” which is available for downloading from the website.  “All visa holders who are fully vaccinated in accordance with Australia’s international border entry requirements are able to arrive in Australia without needing an approved travel exemption. This includes fully vaccinated international students.”  Here are more important reminders from the Australian Government: People who do not meet Australia’s vaccination requirements for international travel must apply for a travel exemption to travel to Australia, unless they are in an exempt category. Visa holders who arrive in Australia may have their visa cancelled and be detained and removed if they: are not fully vaccinated for international travel purposes in accordance with Australia’s border entry requirements; or do not have a medical contraindication to a COVID-19 vaccine as defined by the Australian Government; or are not in an exempt category or hold an individual travel exemption. To be considered as “fully vaccinated for international travel purpose” to or from Australia, one should have completed a primary course of a vaccine approved or recognized by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). This includes mixed doses. The currently approved or recognised vaccines for travel are the following: Two doses at least 14 days apart of AstraZeneca Vaxzevria, AstraZeneca Covishield, Pfizer/Biontech Comirnaty, Moderna Spikevax or Takeda, Sinovac Coronavac, Bharat Biotech Covaxin, Sinopharm BBIBP-CorV (for people under 60 years of age on arrival in Australia), Gamaleya Research Institute Sputnik V, Novavax/Biocelect Nuvaxovid. Single-dose dose of Johnson & Johnson/ Janssen-Cilag COVID Vaccine are also in the list of approved and recognized vaccines. “At least 7 days must have passed since the final dose of vaccine in a course of immunisation for you to be considered fully vaccinated for international travel purposes. Mixed doses count towards being fully vaccinated as long as all vaccines are approved or recognised by the TGA.” How about exceptions for vaccination requirements and arrangement for children? “People with acceptable proof they cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, and children under 12, can access the same travel arrangement as people who are fully vaccinated for international travel purposes.” Moreover, temporary visa holders who are younger than 18 years old at the time of departure for international travel to Australia do not require an approved travel exemption when the child is travelling with at least one adult who is fully vaccinated for international travel purposes. “Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children aged 12-17 years old entering Australia may be exempt from passenger caps and eligible for reduced quarantine requirements. Travellers should always check the quarantine requirements for the state or territory they plan to travel to, or transit through, prior to arranging their travel.” “If the child is travelling with unvaccinated adult family members, then the entire family group will be subject to managed quarantine and passenger caps.” For more information on vaccination travel requirements, quarantine rules, and other related matter, visit https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/vaccinated-travellers. Reference:  https://www.dese.gov.au/reopening-international-travel-students  https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/vaccinated-travellers  Factsheet on the reopening of international travel to students https://www.dese.gov.au/reopening-international-travel-students/resources/factsheet-reopening-international-travel-students