Association in standoff with BCL

Business

THE Special Mine Lease Osikaiyang Landowners’ Association of the Panguna mine in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville continues to refuse to engage with the Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL).
Association chairman Philip Miriori said they disagreed with the public statements made by the company recently.
“Interestingly, they also suggested they have every confidence that the outstanding issues can be resolved, and yet, they have never met with the owners of the minerals, the Special Mine Lease Osikaiyang Landowners’ Association, to negotiate and engage in a discussion with regard to their desire to benefit from, and more particularly, develop our minerals,” Miriori said.
“Further, BCL in its public statements places significant reliance on the reference to the other landowner groups. This is misleading because we are the only landowner association that owns the minerals.
“Accordingly, we are the only landowner association that can consent to access for the grant of an exploration licence. Without our consent, nothing will happen.
“We firmly believe all Bougainvilleans must benefit from the Panguna mine this time around. But at this stage, given we own the minerals, our consent is the only critical hurdle. And to date, they continue to ignore our wishes and treat us disrespectfully.”

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