Bougainville Mining News: Does Bougainville mining law open doors to corporate predators

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Picture: Renzie Duncan is a mining executive who has run companies like Zues Minerals

This week Papua New Guinea Mine Watch (PNGMW) published an article questioning the motives of Adam Smith International, the company contracted by the World Bank to draft Bougainville’s new mining law (available here). According to PNGMW Adam Smith International (ASI) works for big business interests, and has harmed indigenous communities across Africa and Asia.

PNGMW claimed ASI’s friends like Renzie Duncan in the corporate world were delighted by the new Mining law pointing to his recent post this week in the popular Bougainville Forum on Facebook ,where he expressed his delight at ASI’s handiwork.

At no stage does he declare his past or current involvement in Bougainville mining (see New Dawn article below)

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Renzie Duncan is a mining executive who has run companies like Zues Minerals, a miner which PNGMW understands has been used by the Chinese government to obtain access to mineral deposits in the Pacific region

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Renzie Duncan activities on Bougainville came to light back in June 2014 in a NEW Dawn Report

 ME’EKAMUI’S MIRIORI CHALLENGED TO BE HONEST ABOUT MINING

President of Bougainville, Chief John L. Momis, has challenged “Me’ekamui Government’s” Philip Miriori to be honest about Bougainville mining issues. He was responding to a statement saying discussions about mining can happen only after the referendum on independence, and calling for Australian advisers to “go home”.

President Momis said:

“It’s amusing to see Mr Miriori say mining can happen only after the referendum. For it’s widely known in Bougainville just how deeply involved Miriori is already involved in mining. It was he who worked closely with the Americans involved in Tall J Foundation Ltd.

That company tried to do industrial mining of gold on the tailings on the Jaba River. But the people chased them away. Then a Chinese investor in Tall J. tried to get his lost money back by bringing in Chinese to gather and sell scrap metal from Panguna.

Then there is the Australian, Ian Renzie Duncan, at different times involved with Australian mining companies Zeus Resources and Transpacific Ventures.

It was he who wrote Mr Miriori’s speech delivered when Prime Minister O’Neill visited Panguna. It’s widely talked about in central Bougainville that Miriori is investing with Mr. Duncan, and that Duncan is taking alluvial gold supplied by Miriori.

“These are just a few of the mining interests that Mr. Miriori is involved in. It’s these and other mining interests that have take him off so regularly to meetings in Cairns, Brisbane, Perth, Singapore, and other business tourist destinations.

Everyone around Panguna knows one thing for sure: no other Me’ekamui President has done more foreign travel than Miriori!

“But with all his deep involvement in mining already, how can he talk about decisions on mining waiting until after the referendum? I challenge him to be honest about his long history of mining interests.

“I also challenge him to be equally honest about foreign advisers. He says Australian funded advisers are not welcome. But these advisers have all been requested by the ABG to help us fill in gaps and weaknesses in the Administration.

Although Australian funded, many are not Australian. They include Bougainvilleans.

Until recently our legislative drafting adviser was from Vanuatu. Our Policy Adviser was from Bermuda – all paid for By Australia.

“For the ABG, the two most important things about our advisers are these.

First, we only have them when we have a gap we cannot fill with a Bougainvillean.

Second, they must follow the directions of the Bougainville Government. I am absolutely confident that they do that. They do not control the ABG.

They are not here to make money for foreign companies. “I challenge Mr. Miriori to tell us about his foreign advisers, and what they are doing to make money for foreign interests. They included two Americans with the Tall J Foundation, Stewart Sytner and Thomas Megas.

There are documents freely available on the Internet that show they claim that Mr. Miriori sold them mining rights in areas to the north of the Panguna Special Mining Lease. I challenge him to tell us is what Sytner and Megas claim is true.

What about the other investors in Tall J? What advice did they give to Miriori? What about the Tall J investor who brought in the Chinese scrap metal dealers? What advice did he give?

What about the advice that Mr. Ian Renzie Duncan gives? “Mr. Miriori is not being honest about the future of mining. His hands are not clean in relation to mining. “Mr. Miriori is not being honest about foreign advisers. Again his hands are not clean. “I challenge him to be honest on these matters. I challenge him to enter these debates only when he has clean hands.

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