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The National (PNG), 19.02.2009
Panguna investors praise Tanis
THE biggest group of international private investors in the Bougainville copper mine has praised the activities of Autonomous Bougainville Government president James Tanis in boosting the image of the mine as a workable investment venture.
The European shareholders of Bougainville copper (ESBC) expressed their appreciation in a statement.
“I am very happy that Mr Tanis does not consider Panguna as a ‘sensitive issue’ as his predecessor, the late president Joseph Kabui did,” ESBC president Axel Sturm in Andorra said.
“The ESBC had always maintained that all parties involved in mining in Bougainville get together and talk to each other.
“Therefore, the European shareholders of Bougainville Copper Ltd (BCL) strongly support Mr Tanis’ approach to politics by encouraging his people to dispose their weapons and to reconcile.
“Bougainvilleans have been living for two decades in pain and Mr Tanis is absolutely right when he says that the conflict has to end where it began: in Panguna. Panguna is not a taboo.”
The praise came after BCL revealed the findings of a multi-million kina order of magnitude study.
The report released to the Australian Stock Exchange said there was an evaluated one billion tonnes of payable ore still within the existing mining lease.
“Panguna would be the source of Bougainville’s economic success in the future. The money that would be earned in Panguna would also encourage young Bougainvilleans who are now living abroad to come back to the island and work on its development,” he said.
Mr Sturm outlined in particular the good work of BCL secretary Paul Coleman.
He said he met Coleman in Port Moresby last May and learnt that he was a very serious and well-informed man who invested all his power in bringing Bougainville forward.
|The European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper (ESBC)