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Bougainville has final say on mining

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mastaflash   Tuesday, 11/20/12 12:49:38 PM
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Bougainville has final say on mining

The Autonomous Region of Bougainville, under President John Momis, is now writing a mineral policy and legislative regime to put the government and its people at the pinnacle of resource development.
This is a regime in which the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) and its resource owners are equal partners.
The ABG is the ultimate authority in determining policy and legislative framework on re­source development in Bougainville, including the future of Panguna mine.
The resource owners are ABG’s cohesive partners in this regime, where they recognise
and respect their government’s authority and the government recognises the owners’ rights through the constitutional framework.
There are important considerations and aspirations in the mineral sector which many do not understand.
Firstly, under the PNG constitutional framework, the ABG is fully mandated to exercise its mining, oil and gas powers from the national government, of which this process is actively under way.
During the Alotau Accord of 2008, the national government and ABG agreed upon 15 steps, which the ABG shall fully comply with.
In line with this, the national government has agreed not to assume mining, oil and gas powers in relation to Bougainville without ABG’s request or agreement.
The 15 steps also include the reviewing of the Bougainville copper agreement and lifting the current blanket moratorium on any exploration in the autonomous region.
Secondly, the ABG is now in the process of legislating a Bougainville transitional mining arrangement act.
The main purpose is to monitor some of the recent activities where dubious foreign companies are mining in Bougainville by luring local resource owners through joint-venture companies.
In this instance, the ABG has a moral and legal duty to pass this law to protect its citizens from
the sweet-talk by foreigners and their local cronies who go around misleading and promising landowners huge financial returns.
Whilst this law is temporarily in place, the ABG will continue its consultations with its people and mineral policy and technical experts to develop a responsible, sustainable mineral extraction legislative framework.
Thirdly, the future of Panguna mine will be determined after a full consultation with landowners, impacted communities and the people.
The ABG and its people will not accept any resource development deal struck outside the shores of Bougainville.
With the Panguna mine, the ABG is currently undergoing an unprecedented approach where consultations with landowners are winding down, consultations with ex-combatants have been completed and discussions and awareness with the people will kick off this month through regional forums.
To sum it up, the ABG is the legal authority to make decisions on mining and the Panguna
It is currently in consultation with all stakeholders to develop
a mineral policy and legislative regime that puts the government and its people in the forefront with responsible mineral extraction.
If investors are serious in contribu­ting meaningfully to this process, they are invited to come to Bougainville.

Kearnneth Kolynnopo Nanei

...for goodness sake lets have some fun watching these people squirm. - CH
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