ABG President, Chief Dr. John Momis says that he is very concerned at the discussions been held between RIO TINTO and the Papua New Guinea Government to purchase RIO’s 53.83 percent shares in Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) for $100 million.
In his address to the ABG House this week, President Momis said that he has been approached by several senior National Government officials including the Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill the last time during the December’s JSB meeting in Kokopo.
President MOMIS said that the people of Bougainville must be assured that the ABG has made no deal with PNG.
Instead we are putting a very strong Bougainville position to both PNG and RIO that environmental clean-up is now the key issue and that if there is any transfer of RIO’s shares, it must be to Bougainville.
President Momis said that the minerals in Bougainville belong to Bougainvilleans as our blood has been shed over those Panguna Minerals, yet PNG wants to buy RIO’s shares so that it can own Panguna and its minerals.