“President Momis has been informed of whatever talks we have with other shareholders of BCL, only because the State is a second biggest shareholder. My statement in Arawa and Panguna remain very relevant today, that there are no mine opening talks until landowners and the people of Bougainville are ready.
President Momis should stop blaming the Papua New Guinea Government for all that is going wrong in Bougainville and accept some responsibility as he has been in charge for many years now.”
Comment from the Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, following the release of a statement by President John Momis of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville relating to Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) shares:
“The Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) has been deeply concerned at the possibility that Rio and PNG might be contemplating trading shares in BCL. The only valuable asset that BCL has is its limited rights over minerals at Panguna. Trading in Bougainville’s minerals between Rio and the Australian colonial Administration occurred in the 1960s, without any reference to Bougainville. We cannot allow a new form of colonial dealings in Bougainville’s resources to occur.”
President John Momis has called for the Prime Minister O’Neill and the global mining giant , Rio Tinto, to reveal any dealings between PNG and Rio Tinto in Rio Tinto’s shares in Bougainville Copper Ltd (BCL). Rio Tinto is the majority shareholder in BCL, with 53 per cent equity. In August 2014, Rio Tinto announced a review of its investment in BCL.
“The Government of Papua New Guinea is a shareholder in Bougainville Copper Limited. Mr O’Neil went on to say
“We have had discussions with other shareholders of BCL on a range of issues including the reopening of the Mine and disposal of shares by existing shareholders including Rio Tinto.
“There are no secret deals and we are disappointed that President Momis is trying use this issue at the time of the election that is taking place today.
My statement in Arawa and Paguna remain very relevant today, that there are no mine opening talks until landowners and the people of Bougainville are ready.