Bougainville government lifts mining moratorium

THE mining moratorium that has existed on Bougainville Island since 1971 has finally been lifted.
Bougainville government lifts mining moratorium Bougainville government lifts mining moratorium Bougainville government lifts mining moratorium Bougainville government lifts mining moratorium Bougainville government lifts mining moratorium

Staff Reporter

President of the autonomous Papua New Guinea region of Bougainville John Momis made the announcement last Friday.
 
The announcement comes after the Autonomous Bougainville Government enacted its own mining act in 2015 and began to regulate its mining sector.
 
Momis said that in making the decision, the Bougainville Executive Council had carefully considered the implications of development, the capacity of government to manage applications, and the needs of its people.
 
He said lifting the moratorium in Tore, Isina and Jaba would play a critical role in enhancing Bougainville's economic future, and relevant government departments were putting in place the administrative and regulatory processes to effectively manage new activities.
 
"I assure interested companies and prospective investors that we stand ready to assist and facilitate investment in this important sector, provided that applicants honour our laws and fully comply with our regulatory requirements," Momis said.
 
While the affected regions of Tore, Isina and Jaba contain large ore deposits, the announcement does not extend to the already existing Panguna copper mine.
 
Panguna has been closed since 1989 and under the control of traditional landowners due to disputes over royalties, environmental concerns, and the independence movement centred on the Bougainville Revolutionary Army.
 
"We have learnt our lessons from the Panguna experience and now we have the opportunity to do a better job," Momis said.
 
"Bougainville is open for business and I look forward to the development of long-term economic partnerships to allow Bougainville to fulfil the economic potential she rightly deserves."
 
The Bougainville Mining Registrar will start accepting applications May 9 from 10am Bougainville Standard Time.

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