visitors since April 2008
Press Releases 2007
BHP Billiton / Rio Tinto
ESBC Welcomes Resumption of Talks
A deadline imposed by British authorities urges BHP Billiton to decide if they want to make a new take-over bid for Rio Tinto or not until February 6 th . This caused rumours that came up in Asia on Monday. Sources said that BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto were back in talks again.
“A merger between these two big companies may be an intelligent step to solve also the actual problems in Bougainville ,” said the president of the European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper Ltd. (ESBC), Mr. Axel G. Sturm , on Thursday in Andorra . With 53%, Rio Tinto is the major shareholder of Bougainville Copper Ltd. (BCL). This fact seems to represent still a hindrance for some people on the island that belongs to Papua New Guinea and to its autonomous government ABG. Some people still believe that Rio Tinto was the only responsible for the environmental impact by mining and the unrest that cost the lives of thousands of Bougainvilleans. A new leadership by BHP Billiton might it make easier to resume mining in the world’s third biggest copper-, gold- and silver mine in the next years.
“Until now our board of directors did a very good job,” said Mr. Sturm, “but a take-over by BHP might have a positive impact on their excellent work. As most of Bougainvilleans know very well that their prosperity in the future depends on mining, a BHP leadership may be a right step for resuming of mining activities in Bougainville . A take-over of Rio Tinto by Chinese investors would be fatal for Bougainville ,” said Mr. Sturm, “Chinese companies are well-known in the world for non-respect of their employees and environmental matters as well. We think that a merger between these two companies that share the same ideals is a benefit for all.”
Bougainville Copper Ltd.
Bougainville Copper Emerging from the Ashes
The stock markets all over the world were extremely down on Monday while the stocks of Bougainville Copper (BCL) impressed by soaring more than 8 percent at the Frankfurt (Germany) stock exchange. Background: Swen Lorenz , a well-known European analyst, had surprised the investor’s public with a detailed in-depth-report (http://undervalued-shares.com) on the Rio-Tinto subsidiary that, until now, remained closed for nearly 20 years due to severe local unrest in the concerned Panguna district of the tropical island Bougainville (Papua New Guinea). The so-called Panguna mine and seven other leases are owned by BCL (Rio Tinto 53.8%) and is supposed to be re-opened within the next three years after enduring intensive negotiations. The Andorra based President of the European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper (ESBC), Mr. Axel G. Sturm , pointed out that Mr. Lorenz’ analyses are very correct: “BCL is like a Phoenix reborn from the ashes! The fair value of BCL shares is round about 30 AU$ once the mining is producing again.” The ESBC-members expect the BCL shares rising up to five AU$ in a first step within the next six months. And Swen Lorenz compares BCL with Katanga Mining Limited in his report. Those shares rose in Toronto from 4 CA$ in April 2006 to 26 CA$ in August 2007.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
it’s a great pleasure for me to announce that the famous European analyst, Mr. Swen Lorenz , just published a in-depth-report on Bougainville Copper Limited. You can find his analyses here: http://www.undervalued-shares.com/ .
On 95 pages Mr. Lorenz analyses the true value of one of the biggest copper-/gold- and silver-assets of the world. The share price of Bougainville Copper doubled within the last 6 months and is supposed to rise further in the next weeks.
The European Shareholders expect even a share price of 30,00 AUD (20,00 €) in 5 years from now.
The actual price per share is 1,44 AUD (0,88 €) in Sydney .
Please read that outstanding report attentively.
With best regards
Axel G. Sturm
European BCL Shareholders Laud Germany ’s Technical Support for New Dawn FM in Bougainville
The European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper (ESBC) are very satisfied that the German Government supports the new independent radio station New Dawn FM with technical supply. “The new FM transmitter will help to bring information even to remote places on the island”, said ESBC President Axel G. Sturm on Thursday, “This will it make far easier to bring all Bougainvilleans together and will strengthen their own Bougainville identity. In a country that is hit from time to time by earthquakes or tsunamis a good working radio station may even help to save lives.”
“As most of the ESBC members are Germans”, said Mr Sturm, “we are particularly proud that the German ambassador to PNG, Mr Martin Lutz, came to Bougainville to sign the memorandum of understanding. There has been a special relation between Germany and Bougainville since the island had been a German colony one century ago. We will try to motivate more German institutions to help the Bougainvilleans to build up a modern society und respect of their old tradition. We think that Bougainville is on a good way to become a ‘pole of peace’ in the region. We are sure that New Dawn FM can help to convince the last freedom fighters to destroy their weapons and to be a part of the peace process. Remember: The Germans built up a destroyed country after World War 2. This may be a good example for Bougainville after years of unrest. In Europe the memory of millions who died between 1939 and 1945 went hand in hand with a vision of a better future life in peace and freedom. So we appeal to all Bougainvilleans to stand up and work together!”
European BCL Shareholders Support Women’s Claim in Bougainville
The European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper (ESBC) declared their solidarity with the women’s claim that had been expressed in a meeting the women had with representatives of the World Bank in Bougainville last week. “For us there is no question, that the women must be included in decision-making on Bougainville ”, said ESBC President Axel G. Sturm on Thursday 8 th in Andorra , “We consider the role of these wise women as a pole of peace on the island. We agree totally that the actual problems in transportation, telecommunication, health service and education have to be resolved as soon as possible.” Mr Sturm underlined that it is very important to destroy all guns on the island. “But remember that there is also one other major weapon that has not been mentioned”, said Mr Sturm, “The name of this weapon is corruption! Only if the people of Bougainville will learn that they must stand together and work together without taking profit for one person or one family only, they will be able to overcome the actual economic and social crisis. The re-opening of the Panguna mine by BCL would be a great step forward to a better future for all. All Bougainvilleans have to be realistic: Only agriculture will not pay the enormous amounts of money that are needed to bring a better future and work to the people of Bougainville .” In fact: new roads, hospitals, schools, public transport, telecommunication and a lot of other things that are needed only can be paid with the income generated by Bougainville Copper Limited. Remember: Twenty years ago most of PNG’s state revenue came from the Panguna mine in the heart of Bougainville . Mr Sturm: “We are working hard to find a just solution for all. All parties concerned have to be satisfied”.
Panguna: Now It Is Time for a Welcome-Zone!
In a short statement on Monday the president of the European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper (ESBC), Mr Axel G. Sturm said in France: “We are very satisfied, after years of agony, the Panguna district will become revitalized now. The European friends of the Bougainville people and the investors in Bougainville Copper Ltd (BCL) will keep an eye on the future politics of BCL. We want that the suffering of the people comes to an end and that everybody soon will live in prosperity with work and healthcare for all. Especially the fact that weapons will disappear now from the region makes me very happy. If ABG-president Joseph Kabui succeeds in transforming Bougainville into a prosperous and secure country he will enter in history as a great leader. BCL and the European Shareholders will do their very best that Bougainville will become one of the nicest places in the world to stay in. So let us stand together and work on a better Bougainville. Remember: BCL is the best brand for the island that will soon been known all over the world for peace, prosperity and intelligent politics. Now, after the roadblocks are lifted, it is time that the ABG, the Me’ekamui and the landowners declare Panguna a welcome-zone.”
ESBC Lauds Positive News from Bougainville
The president of the European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper (ESBC), Mr Axel G. Sturm, declared on Wednesday in France: “We are very surprised about the positive news from Bougainville and we appreciate very much that now the time has come to start serious discussions on future mining in the Panguna area. We are also glad that President Joseph Kabui wants to meet Mr Albanese from Rio Tinto. Congratulations to him too that he visited the No-Go-Zone. We hope that Panguna now will become a Welcome-Zone and that our experts can visit the mine in the near future.”
Mr Sturm represents the third biggest group of investors in BCL in Europe. The ESBC claim for fairness between all parties involved in the Panguna copper project and fights for mining that has only minimal environmental impact. “Since the Panguna mine was closed,” said Mr. Sturm, “mining technology made a giant step forward. Severe damage of nature can be avoided today. In our discussions with the BCL board of directors we always point out that the latest and most modern techniques must be used in Bougainville. That is why the reopening of the Paguna mine is estimated round about 1.2 billion US Dollars (K3,54 billion). This is a very important investment in the future of Bougainville and the Bougainvillean people.” Addressing to Chief David Sisito Mr Sturm said: “The ESBC is open to every fair discussion with our partners. But we remember too that the ‘coin Panguna’ has two sides like every coin. One side is fulfilled with mistakes of Rio Tinto and others in the past, but the other side is represents the struggle of the Bougainvilleans for their independence from PNG. We should not forget this either. We agree to talks with Mr. Sisito to discuss all his claims of compensation as published today. But Mr. Sisito, are you ready too to talk with us about compensation of financial losses for the shareholders of BCL within the last 18 years when the mine staid closed?” Mr. Sturm: “I mean we are a new generation of people who is acting now and who have to shoulder a big task. That means that we all have to work together to build up a better future for Bougainville. The European Shareholders of BCL are ready to face their responsibility in fairness and good will.”
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 re-opening 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.”
Mysterious ASX-Trades on Bougainville Copper
The ESBC Members Claim for Investigation and Trading Halt
The European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper Limited proposed on Friday 10 th 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.
European BCL-Shareholders Welcome Talks between ABG and Rio Tinto
The European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper (ESBC) welcome the invitation of ABG-President Joseph Kabui to start talks with the Chief Executive Officer of Rio Tinto, Mr Tom Albanese, on the future of the Panguna Mine.
Spokesman Axel G. Sturm outlined on Wednesday in France, that any step which is leading to a solution for the actual 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 reopen the mine as soon as possible. The name Bougainville Copper Limited would become a synonym for successful investment and modern industrial development o the island of Bougainville in the international financial world.”
As Rio Tinto is worldwide known as a serious business partner and as most of the biggest mining companies who could shoulder a giant mining project as Panguna are Anglo Australian it would be very difficult for the ABG to find other partners to trust in, said Mr Sturm. If President Kabui is interested in an open exchange of ideas with the third biggest group of investors in BCL, the European Shareholders would appreciate to receive an invitation for talks by the ABG.
Bougainville : K30 million thieves must be brought to justice.
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 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 cooperation with the police officers just arriving from Australia and New Zealand , will soon shed light on this shameful incident. We are very much upset because we imagine the good that could have been done for the Bougainvillean people with such the 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!”
The ESBC would also like to know if there were indications that the recently implanted Canadian Invincible Resources is involved in that affair. Further the European Shareholders pointed out in their statement that only the fast re-opening of the Panguna mine by a big and experienced company like BCL can guarantee regular and controlled mining: “Uncontrolled mining,” said Mr Sturm, “always involves a danger to nature and may cause environmental damage that could not be repaired. We hope that all parties concerned in mining in Bougainville are aware of the seriousness of the actual situation and that they will soon get together and work on a solution for Bougainville that will avoid criminal activities like this in the future.”
European BCL-Shareholders renounce Dividend Paying.
The Annual General Meeting of Bougainville Copper Ltd. (BCL) was taken to reason for the Company’s European Shareholders to renounce their eventual dividend from BCL that earned K 3.7 million from different investments in funds last year. “We think that there are more important things to do for BCL,” outlined Andorra based Spokesman Axel G. Sturm this week in a letter to BCL Chairman Peter Taylor, “than to pay dividends to European Investors.” The European BCL-shareholders pointed out that there should be major priority to finance the outstanding reconciliation ceremonies to give finally a long-lasting peace to the region and to build up a prosperous and successful Bougainville. The re-implantation of a highly needed strong and healthy economic infrastructure for Bougainville costs enormous amounts of money for restoring the islands infrastructure. Only the revenues from mining organised by a well experienced company like BCL can shoulder that gigantic task, said the BCL shareholders. “We would appreciate very much,” said Mr. Sturm, “if our generous step would be honoured by the Bougainville people by inviting BCL-experts to a first official visit to the Panguna mine soon. It would even be better if the Bougainvilleans would declare their firm will to restart mining hand in hand with Bougainville Copper Ltd. on the fundament of a new Bougainville Copper agreement. We are convinced that the ABG headed by President Hon. Joseph Kabui can play an important and very wise role in the ongoing process.”
The World’s 3rd biggest Copper and Gold mine to reopen in three years!
The European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper welcome the intention of Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL), owned 53 per cent by the international mining giant Rio Tinto, to return to exploration and mining in Bougainville within the next three years. 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 ESBC-spokesman Axel G. Sturm Monday morning in Andorra . The Monday edition of the Port Moresby (PNG) based Post-Courier cited the BCL Chairman Peter R. Taylor and the company’s 2006 Annual Report that had been released last week. “If serious companies like BCL 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.”
European Shareholders praise ABG President
The latest statement of ABG President Joseph Kabui caused positive resonance amongst the European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper Limited: “It is a very wise decision of Mr. Kabui to consider to the re-opening of the Panguna mine now,” said ESBC-spokesman Axel G. Sturm last Thursday in Andorra. The European Shareholders of BCL have always asked for the reopening of the world’s third largest copper and gold mine as a foundation for strong economic development in Bougainville. “Bougainville Copper Limited is the only internationally listed company of the island it has always been the island of Bougainville’s link to the world of economy too. And that was in a positive and in a negative sense as well” said Mr. Sturm. “Our dream is that Bougainville Copper becomes a shining example for modern mining that respects the environment and an outstanding model for a young emerging nation also!”
Ord River Resources that is supposed to have strong economic interests in common with the People’s Republic of China seems to be Joseph Kabui’s favourite in the Paguna re-opening deal. “For legal and for image reasons,” says Mr. Sturm, “it would be wise to keep the company’s name as a national brand to be proud of. So it would be an elegant solution if Ord River Resources tries to become the major stakeholder of Bougainville Copper Limited. 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 up to 2 billion AUD minimum for the 53% block of Rio Tinto Shares plus a round about 1 billion US-Dollars for the re-opening. Our experts here in Europe consider even the fair value per BCL-share between 5 and 10 AUD minimum once the mine’s re-opening is announced, when the mine is operating the price per share might rise to something between 20 and 30 AUD according to the prices of the precious metal market .” The actual price of the Bougainville Copper share is only 0, 76 AUD. But there might be other topics too: “If I were Mr. Kabui, I would be very careful,” says Mr. Sturm “I think the President would not like to see Bougainville becoming a second social mining disaster such as the Chinese operated Ramu mine in PNG! We believe that Joseph Kabui has a good chance to play an outstanding and even historical role in Bougainville if he succeeds in unifying and satisfying all parties involved.”
There is a light at the end of the tunnel!
In a statement that was published in Europe on March 1st by the European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper (ESBC), the group welcomed the initiatives recently taken to bring Bougainville finally to a brighter future. More than 50 members belong to the ESBC. This represents the third largest group amongst the major shareholders of BCL.
“We invite all the people of Bougainville to gather behind their leaders who work hard for a better economic future of the island”, ESBC-Spokesman Axel G. Sturm said last Thursday in Andorra. “As we mentioned a couple of months ago”, Mr. Sturm added, “Bougainville has an excellent perspective to move from being an emerging to being a wealthy country with work and welfare for all if all Bougainvilleans stand together in respect to each other.”
“Especially the young people of Bougainville”, underlines Mr. Sturm, “need a real task to be proud of. Their task should be to build up their new Bougainville and to fight against drug and alcohol abuse.” Sturm: “We are also convinced that the Mekamui too want all the best for Bougainville and will finally lay down their weapons and participate in a peaceful evolution.”
The European shareholders appreciate very much the proposal, presented by Bougainville MP Hon. Leo Hannett in February to the PNG-Parliament: “It seems to us to be a good and fair solution for all groups involved in the Panguna mining project”, said Mr. Sturm. “In fact the President Joseph Kabui and the ABG too will receive sufficient financial funding to prepare and realize common projects which are absolutely essential. The re-animation of the Panguna mine is the key issue for the economic development in Bougainville in the future. We are very satisfied to hear that the landowners, well represented by Mr. Lawrence Daveona, soon want to start negotiations with BCL only and not with other dubious companies.”
“We also agree very much with Mr. Thomas Rabanz who pointed out in his statement as vice-president of the Bougainville Business Association that there is security needed in Bougainville. The fact that conman Noah Musingku is still free remains to be a major obstacle. We are sure that more individuals would be interested to invest into projects in Bougainville, thereby following the example of the European Shareholders of BCL. In this respect the re-opening of the Panguna mine would encourage other investors to come to Bougainville as well.”