Autonomous Bougainville Government makes position clear on Panguna mine
The Autonomous Bougainville Government has put on hold any discussion on the future of Panguna mine until after the referendum.
The acting ABG President and Minister for Mining Raymond Masono issued this statement this week saying that it’s recommended by the legislative committee as the way forward for the government bills. He said in the meantime, the ministry and the Department of Mineral and Energy Resources (DOMER) are carrying out awareness on the amendment and its benefits.
“At the same time the inistry and DOMER are supporting a traditional social mapping called “Tangurang” in the Nasioi culture.
Tangurang is a way of identifying the true landowners of the Panguna Pit, through the clan structure.
Thus, correcting the legalised mistakes of the past with respect to who owns the Panguna land,” Mr Masono said.
“Going forward, we will allow all Bougainvilleans to scrutinise and fully understand and appreciate the intention of the mining amendment by their government.”
He said that ABG executive government and my department stand ready to explain the intention of the mining amendment to give comfort to all Bougainvilleans that this amendment is for resource owners and Bougainvilleans to maintain full ownership of their mineral resources to retain full control and management of these resources and nothing more.
“This is the paradigm shift from the status quo of foreign ownership, exploitation and control of our mineral resources.
A profound statement of this paradigm shift and rejection of foreign manipulation and control was made by our crisis led leaders and the 20,000 plus lives that were lost during the Bougainville crisis,” he said.
Masono said the mining initiative by ABG in the form of mining amendment today is to give prominence and reaffirm the profound statement made by “our fallen heroes to reject foreign manipulation and control of our resources”.
“Hence, I wish to reiterate that the Panguna mine will only be opened after the referendum under a new regime as proposed by the mining amendment and after the Tangurang process is completed.
“Today our focus as a government is to unite all Bougainvilleans, promote and maintain peace and create a conducive environment for the referendum to be held to determine our future political status,” Masono said.