The European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper (ESBC) are an internet-based group of individual European private investors pursuing the following objectives:
We know that we as minority shareholders have no or only limited influence on the company's business policy determined predominantly by Rio Tinto Ltd as the major holder of BCL shares. Acknowledging this we will focus our activities on other levels as well as means and ways of communication in order to make our mark and position ourselves.
We, The European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper, invested in Bougainville Copper Ltd. (BCL) because we expect high returns on investment in the medium- and long-term run. We also consider ourselves to be literally co-owners of BCL who are willing to take responsibilities for the actions undertaken by the company. Whilst the members of The European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper are not directly affected by past and current events on the island of Bougainville it is this geographical distance we believe allows us to take a more neutral albeit not completely unbiased stand on the issue of the Panguna Mine as well as the island's strive for peace, stability and economic prosperity in general. Wherever we can, we want to take part in the ongoing communication process between the parties involved in the question of lifting the mining moratorium but we will not interfere with any of the internal affairs in Papua New Guinea and/or Bougainville as long as mining projects and the Panguna mine in particular are not directly concerned.
We want to work towards a re-opening of the Panguna mine. Mind you, our members put great emphasis on the objective that all parties involved will profit from lifting the mining moratorium and the re-opening of the Panguna mine. We especially emphasize our respect of and support for the legal, moral and cultural interests of the people of Bougainville and the landowners who will have to get a fair share of the revenues generated by any mining project on the island. It is not only limited to the fact that Bougainville was a German colony back in the 19 th century why in particular the German members of the group of The European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper want to stress their active support for the people of Bougainville. It will be the key to see the interest of the people and landowners of Bougainville to be fairly represented in the current negotiations between the government of Papua New Guinea , the Autonomous Bougainville Government, Bougainville Copper Ltd. and Rio Tinto.
Even with the means available to us likely to be rather limited we like to get involved, to have our say and hope that this will help to bring peace and stability back to troubled and pain-struck Bougainville . The European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper call for the leading politicians to greatly improve the security situation for the island’s population and to create a positive climate for (international) investments. Ecologically compatible and sustainable mining should be considered the basis for Bougainville ’s new prosperity.
From our point of view a vital part of this prosperity based on mining is that pollution of the island’s nature must be prevented by all means. The European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper dismiss any plans to use environmentally harmful methods of mining but strongly call for areas affected by mining to be naturally restored by the latest re-cultivation methods which have proven effective in other parts of the world.
The European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper will come up with proposals how this can and should be achieved and bring these proposals into the ongoing discussion process. We also call for Bougainville Copper Ltd to create a reserve fund for this purpose and also to apply the highest standards of work safety measures for the people working in the mine once mining will have resumed.
Moreover, we want to motivate BCL to share the responsibilities of creating an efficient health and education system and also to found a pension scheme for the employees of BCL and their relatives, a pension fund which for example will be in a position to pay accident benefits.
In the opinion of The European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper Bougainville Copper Ltd shall become a role model for forward-looking, advanced and environmentally harmless mining in the developing world, a project to the benefit of a whole nation. The sheer value of the resources hidden in the soil of Bougainville is high enough to build up a prosperous region with employment opportunities for everybody.
We are convinced that the potential revenues by mining on Bougainville will enable the company to comply with all our demands as co-owners of the company and to simultaneously satisfy the humanitarian, ethical and economic interests of all the parties involved in today’s peace and reconstruction process on Bougainville .
In the light of the aforementioned objectives and determined to raise our voice in the ongoing discussions about mining on Bougainville The European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper will from now on try to play an active part on the issue of lifting the mining moratorium. Wherever it is coherent with our objectives we will support all parties involved.
Principality of Andorra, May 2006