BCL: New President for ESBC
The European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper (ESBC) appointed unanimously Axel G. Sturm as president. Until now Mr. Sturm represented the third biggest group of investors in BCL as spokesman.
In a first statement Mr. Sturm said: "The ESBC are very proud to support the ongoing process of restoration of mining in Bougainville. The reopening of the Panguna-mine by BCL will soon bring a lot of work and money to the island and all Bougainvilleans will take profit of that.
We invite the ABG and President Kabui to work together with us on the solution of the outstanding problems."
13.08.2007 POST-COURIER (Port Moresby/PNG)
Support for talks
The European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper (ESBC) welcomed the invitation of ABG-President Joseph Kabui to start talks with the chief executive officer of Rio Tinto, Tom Albanese, on the future of the Panguna mine.
Spokesman Axel G. Sturm outlined on Wednesday in France, that any step leading to a solution for the agony in Bougainville would find the strong support of the European Shareholders of BCL.
“It would be very helpful,” said Mr Sturm, “if all parties involved in mining in the Panguna area, could finally ban the shadows of the past and work together. We believe that it would be the best for the people of Bougainville and the ABG to find an agreement with BCL to re-open the mine as soon as possible.”
11.08.2007 SCOOP (New Zealand)
Mysterious ASX-Trades on Bougainville Copper
The European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper Limited proposed on Friday 10th of august a trading halt for BOC shares to the Sydney based Australian Stock Exchange and claimed for an official investigation on mysterious trades executed within the last 4 months.
"It began last April," said Axel G. Sturm , the spokesman of the third biggest group of investors in the giant copper, gold and silver mining company, "when suddenly very small orders were executed at the end of the ASX stock market session or even a couple of minutes after the market had closed. These orders had two things in common: they brought down the share price a couple of cents which means 4 percent or more. But these orders never appeared in the order books - neither in the BID nor in the ASK."
Within the last three weeks the trades became the more and more mysterious: nearly daily there were numerous extreme small orders like 2, 4, 6 or 9 shares that were exchanged. These orders too did not appear in the order books. "We are convinced," said Mr Sturm "that there are some gamblers on Bougainville Copper who try to manipulate the market price severely in order to keep the exchange price as low as possible. Therefore we asked the ASX now to bring light into the actual situation. Especially for foreign investors it is not acceptable that such doubtful trading will influence the market prices. This represents a hindrance for foreign investors."
Last May Peter Taylor , CEO of Bougainville Copper Limited, announced on the annual shareholder meeting in Port Moresby (PNG) a 3-years-plan for the reopening of the BCL owned Panguna mine which is considered as one of the biggest copper mines of the world.
10.08.2007 The National (Port Moresby/PNG)
ABG-Rio Tinto talks on Panguna welcomed
THE European Bougainville Copper Ltd (BCL) shareholders have welcomed talks between the Autonomous Government of Bougainville (ABG) and Rio Tinto to discuss the future of the abandoned Panguna copper mine on the island.
This is subsequent to ABG President Joseph Kabui’s move to call for a meeting with Rio Tinto’s chief executive officer Tom Albanese to resolve issues surrounding Panguna and to formalise the legal disengagement of Rio Tinto from Panguna and Bougainville.
BCL is owned 53.58% by Rio Tinto, 19.06% by the Papua New Guinea Government, and the rest of the 27.36% by public shareholders.
Mr Kabui said the company should be answerable to some of what happened on the island while calling on assistance for the islanders to help them move forward to build consensus for the resumption of mining-related activity on the island.
The letter from Mr Kabui to Mr Albanese also said high on the agenda was the remediation of and compensation for the environmental damage to Panguna, with both the upper and lower tailings and the legal exit of Rio Tinto and BCL from Bougainville.
Axel Sturm, the spokesperson for the European shareholders from France, recently said any step leading to a solution for the actual agony Bougainville would find has strong support of the European shareholders of BCL.
“It would be very helpful if all parties involved in mining in the Panguna area could finally ban the shadows of the past and work together.”
“We believe that it would be best for the people of Bougainville and the ABG to find an agreement with BCL to reopen the mine as soon as possible.”
“The name Bougainville Copper Ltd would become a synonym for successful investment and modern industrial on the island of Bougainville in the international financial world,” Mr Sturm said.
Mr Sturm noted of Rio Tinto renowned approach as a serious business partner that could take on the giant mining project as that of Panguna.
He added that as Panguna are Anglo Australian it would be very difficult for the ABG to find other partners to trust and as such the talks between the BCL and ABG are most called for by the BCL European shareholders.
12.06.2007 Post-Courier (Port Moresby / PNG)
BCL shareholders condemn theft
The European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper (ESBC) declared that they were absolutely not amused to read about the robbery of 500 kilograms of gold from Bougainville’s resources.
“We demand an unreserved investigation of that scandal,” said ESBC spokesman Axel G. Sturm on Friday in Andorra.
“We expect that President Joseph Kabui -— hopefully in co-operation with the police officers just arriving from Australia and New Zealand — will soon shed light on this shameful incident.”
Mr Sturm said that the shareholders were upset because imagined the good that could have been done for the Bougainvillean people with such an enormous amount of K30 million instead of filling the pockets of a few.
“For that we demand that those criminals are brought to justice where they should face a severe penalty,” he said.
Further the European Shareholders said in a statement that only a fast re-opening of the Panguna mine by a big and experienced company like Bougainville Copper Limited could guarantee regular and controlled mining on Bougainville.
03.04.2007 Post-Courier (Port Moresby / PNG
BCL shareholders give nod to company plans
The European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper have welcomed the intention of Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL), to return to exploration and mining in Bougainville within the next three years.
Bougainville Copper Limited owned 53 per cent by the international mining giant Rio Tinto, 19 per cent by the Government of PNG and the remainder by individual shareholders said in its 2006 annual report that it had developed a three-year plan to return to exploration and profitable mining in Papua New Guinea.
The mine was closed since 1989 due to unrest in the Panguna mine area and the rest of Bougainville.
“We are extremely satisfied that finally the things seem to come to a good end,” said spokesman Axel G. Sturm. “If serious companies like Bougainville Copper Limited and Rio Tinto make such statements,” said Mr. Sturm, “they must be completely convinced, that they will reach their targets as presented to the public. This is the beginning of a brilliant future of Bougainville and its region.”
Mr Sturm was responding to a report in the Post-Courier yesterday that stated BCL the return to exploration and profitable mining was just one of the many things that the former world class miner had put down on its “to do” list for this year.
The others include pushing ahead with the Bougainville Copper Agreement review and the settling of the tax dispute between the State and BCL.
15.03.2007 Post Courier (Port Moresby / PNG)
Ord shares tumble
SHARES in Australian junior miner Ord River Resources tumbled to their lowest point yesterday after the Autonomous Bougainville Government stopped talks of reopening the Panguna mine.
It opened yesterday trading at $A0.49 cents (K1.20) after trading at around $0.70 cents at the end of last month.
When negotiations started with the ABG on the possible reopening of the Panguna mine late last year, Ord River shares were trading at around $0.99 cents (K2.44).
They dropped to just below $0.70 (K1.72) when the ABG President Joseph Kabui decided against continuing further talks on the Panguna mine.
Ord River advised the Australian Stock Exchange on Tuesday that it was yet to be formally notified by representatives of the Autonomous Bougainville Government on the withdrawal of discussions about investment in mining projects in Bougainville.
“The company has been trying today (Tuesday) to obtain clarification on the media report from both the Autonomous Bougainville Government and the National Government of Papua New Guinea, but has not yet been able to contact representatives of either party,” said company secretary Patrick Yue.
An official announcement is expected with the next few days.
The mining and exploration leases on Panguna and the surrounding areas are still held by Bougainville Copper Limited, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto.
European shareholders of Bougainville Copper said last week that it would have been “an elegant” solution if Ord River tried to become the major stakeholder of Bougainville Copper Ltd. “But that also implies that Ord River has to buy out Rio Tinto. Even if Ord River enjoys strong support by the State of China, we doubt if they are able to shoulder $US1 billion (K3.15 billion) to $US2 billion (K6.30 billion) minimum for the 53 per cent block of Rio Tinto shares plus around $US1 billion (K3.15 billion) for the reopening,” said Andorra based spokesman Axel Sturm.
Mr Sturm claimed European experts valued BCL shares at $A5 to $A10 each once a reopening is announced and at $A20 to $A30 once it started producing copper.
14.03.2007 Sydney Morning Herald
Copper dream loses its glint
Ord River's plans to reopen the Bougainville behemoth might have come to a sudden halt.
JUNIOR explorer Ord River Resources's audacious plan to reopen Rio Tinto's pillaged Bougainville Copper mine - albeit with a little help from the Chinese - might have collapsed.
The Papua New Guinea press reported the autonomous government of Bougainville had ended discussions with Ord River after months of talks about reopening the giant copper mine.
Ord River - which also claims to have made "potentially … one of the most significant copper discoveries in Australian copper mining history" in the Kimberley - without sinking a drill hole, yesterday said it had not received any notification from the government and had not been able to clarify the reports.
But even if the government did agree to reopen the mine, which has been closed since 1989, Ord River would have to contend with Rio Tinto.
Last week, a group calling itself the European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper noted in a press release:
"It would be an elegant solution if Ord River tries to become the major stakeholder of Bougainville Copper. But that also implies that Ord River has to buy out Rio Tinto. Even if Ord River enjoys strong support by the state of China, we doubt if they are able to shoulder $1 billion to $2 billion minimum for the 53 per cent block of Rio Tinto shares plus around $US1 billion for the reopening."
The group, led by Andorra-based spokesman Axel Sturm, claimed unnamed European experts valued Bougainville Copper shares at $5 to $10 each once a reopening is announced, and at $20 to $30 each once it started producing copper.
Ord River shares yesterday closed 2.5c lower at 49c - the lowest since announcing its Kimberley copper "discovery" in November. Bougainville Copper shares closed 4c lower at 74c.
14.03.2007 Profit Hunter (London / UK)
Could Bougainville shares rise to A$30?
Papua New Guinean newspaper, “The National”, reported that the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) has proposed the possible re-opening of Bougainville Copper’s (ISIN PG0008526520) Panguna mine to Australian mining company Ord River Resources. Joseph Kabui confirmed the news but added that outstanding environmental, legal and social issues concerning the mine should be dealt with first.
The proposal was well received by the “European Shareholders of Bougainville”, an organized group of European shareholders of Bougainville Copper, who immediately released a statement afterwards.
Spokesman Axel G. Sturm said “it is a very wise decision of Mr. Kabui to consider the re-opening of the Panguna mine now”, but he doesn’t believe that Ord River Resources could buy out Bougainville Copper’s major shareholder Rio Tinto, even with strong financial support from China. Sturm added that experts of his organization estimate a fair value of A$5 to A$10 per BCL-share once the re-opening is announced and expect the price to rise to somewhere between A$20 and A$30 when the mine is operating again based on the current prices of precious metals.
We have not seen anything concrete that leads us to back a valuation that high, but we still believe that if the mine is reopened, it could lead to a price of many times the current price. Remember, that this is a very long-term hold – one to “stick in your bottom draw”. HOLD.
02.2007 Pazifil aktuell (Germany)
Forderung nach Wiedereröffnung
Die europäischen Anteilseigner (European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper, ESBC) an der Minengesellschaft „Bougainville Copper Limited“ (BCL) fordern in einer Pressemitteilung vom 2. März des Jahres eine Wiedereröffnung der Panguna-Mine auf Bougainville. In der ESBC haben sich 50 Einzelpersonen und Organisationen zusammengeschlossen, die Aktien an BCL halten. Es ist die drittgrößte Gruppe innerhalb der großen Anteilseigner von BCL. Hauptanteilseigner Rio Tinto (53,58%)gehört nicht zur ESBC.
Die Wiederinbetriebnahme der im Mai 1989 stillgelegten Tagebau-Kupfermine sei der Schlüssel zu wirtschaftlicher Entwicklung, erklärte Axel Sturm, Pressesprecher von ESBC. Gerade junge Männer auf Bougainville benötigten sichere berufliche Perspektiven, um nicht in Alkohol- und Drogensucht zu verfallen, sagte Sturm. Sie könnten bei der Entwicklung Bougainvilles zu einem Wohlstandsland helfen.
In den letzten Monaten gab es immer wieder Gerüchte um eine Wiederaufnahme des Minenbetriebes. Die „Panguna Landowners Association“ unter Vorsitz von Lawrence Daveona erklärte, man sei zu Verhandlungen mit BCL bereit. Bevor man die Mine öffnen könne, müssten aber vielfältige soziale, rechtliche und Umweltaspekte diskutiert werden. Thomas Rabanz, Vizepräsident der „Bougainville Business Association“, sprach sich ebenfalls für die Wiederinbetriebnahme der Mine aus. Er forderte jedoch gleichzeitig eine verbesserte Sicherheitssituation. Solange die Mitglieder der Rebellengruppe Me’ekamui noch aktiv seien, seien Recht und Ordnung noch nicht vollständig wiederhergestellt.
Axel Sturm ist überzeugt, dass bei verbesserter Sicherheitslage nicht nur die Mitglieder der ESBC, sondern auch andere Investoren Interesse an einer Inbetriebnahme der Kupfermine hätten. 1989 war die Mine durch Sabotageaktionen örtlicher Landbesitzer zur Stilllegung gezwungen worden. Die Landeigner hatten gewaltsam gegen die ökologischen und sozialen Auswirkungen des zum 1. April 1972 aufgenommen Minenbetriebs protestiert.