Chairman Peter Taylor said in a statement that the company's directors believed the time was right to take advantage of opportunities that might arise on the special mining lease at Panguna and on seven adjacent exploration licence areas.
He added that while a moratorium on mineral exploration in Bougainville was still in place, the company was confident of a good outcome from negotiations with the PNG Government and Bougainville stakeholders over a revised Bougainville copper agreement.
"I've said for many years now that before we go back into Bougainville we need the relevant landowners to be happy with us going on to their land," the Age newspaper quoted Taylor as saying.
"This time around we would want to do it in cooperation with the landowners rather than as a standalone venture."
He added that exploration would likely be the first step taken in order to allow landowners the opportunity to familiarise themselves with a mining venture.
Panguna was one of the country's best money-makers until landowners forced its closure in the late 1980s. Attempts to reopen the mine soon after resulted in civil war and the loss of about 10,000 lives.