MP brands Govt, company ‘devils’ for destroying river


CENTRAL Bougainville MP Sam Akoitai has branded the Government and Bougainville Copper Ltd (BCL) as devils for destroying the Jaba River, resulting in the bloody Bougainville crisis.
Akoitai demanded that the Government and BCL give about K4 billion (19 per cent share of K20 billion) to the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) as a good compromise to restart the Panguna mine which is now worth K61 billion.
“From my view, those devils who caused environmental damage and polluted the Jaba River are BCL and the PNG Government,” Akoitai said.
“These devils have escaped without paying anything, giving us empty promises from these shares.
“I want the national government to talk with Rio Tinto (owner of BCL) and both must come up with something better to give to us before having talks to restart the mine.” Akoitai told Parliament on Friday that he was not happy for Rio Tinto to transfer about K10.6 billion (53 per cent of K20 billion) to the PNG Government.
“Those shares are just figures and worth nothing,” he said.
“As I understand, about K20 billion (US$6 billion) is needed to restart the Panguna mine.
“I will be happy to accept those shares if Rio Tinto can transfer 53 per cent of the K20 billion in monetary terms with these shares that they had given to the National Government.
“On top of that, the National Government must transfer 19 per cent shares also in monetary terms to ABG.
“We know that inside the Panguna mine pit there is K61 billion worth of copper and gold mineral reserves.
“But to get to those minerals, you need capital to restart the mine.”