Press Releases 2008
The European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper state to the article published by Simon Pentanu in the Post-Courier on Monday August 4th, 2008 as follows:
What is wrong Mr. Pentanu?
Is it wrong, if the European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper (ESBC) …
- claim for re-opening the Panguna mine in order to bring back work and prosperity to the people of Bougainville?
- claim to overcome hatred, jealousy and suspicion amongst Bougainvilleans?
- claim for better healthcare on Bougainville supported by BCL or the Bougainville Copper Foundation?
- claim for better roads and other traffic facilities on Bougainville?
- claim for better education on Bougainville supported by BCL?
- claim for environmental caring mining on Bougainville?
- claim for cleaning up the Panguna area?
- claim for disarmament on Bougainville?
- claim that the No-Go-Zone should be transformed into a Welcome-Zone?
- claim for a better management of the company they own?
- claim that the chairman of our company respects corporate governance rules?
- claim to be regularly informed by our directors about the ongoing activities?
- claim that our board of directors imperatively has to reside in PNG?
- insist that all shareholders of BCL are treated equally?
- do not tolerate that the chairman of BCL refuses a four-eye conversation with the president of the ESBC who is biggest group of private investors in BCL?
- claim that the chairman of BCL does not lie to the press. Last week, Peter Taylor stated falsely that neither him nor one of the board of directors had direct contact with the European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper?
- will not accept that the chairman of our company behaves rudely to the shareholders who came to assist the Annual General Meeting by telling them that he had only few time to answer questions because of other appointments?
- claim that our company should give more financial support to those Bougainvilleans who support Bougainville Copper?
- are not satisfied that under Peter Taylor's leadership little has been done to project a good image of BCL amongst Bougainvilleans?
- claim that the people of Bougainville and the people of PNG are kept better informed about the intentions of BCL?
- say that Bougainville Copper is the only worldwide known brand of the island of Bougainville?
- since three years claim that Bougainville becomes one of the wealthiest places in the Pacific?
- warn of ambiguous people trying to steal the Bougainvillean’s property?
- claim that all parties concerned in mining in Bougainville should get together and discuss the outstanding problems in order to find an acceptable solution for all?
- claim that all decisions made for Bougainvilleans must respect local cultural sensitivities?
- ask that Bougainvilleans should stop long, unreasonable and fruitless discussions now?
- claim that the Bougainvilleans start to act now in order to bring a better future to the island?
- consider the Bougainvilleans as normal partners in business and not as beggars?
- do not treat the Bougainvilleans as a group of underdeveloped people but as friends?
- come to PNG to inform themselves on the ground and to talk to Bougainvilleans as well?
- are interested in a better future on Bougainville?
Are we really wrong with our claims?
Fact is that we have not the same ideas like those anti-mining minded groups who intend to kick Bougainville and the Bougainvilleans back into the Stone Age.
Therefore, Mr. Pentanu, please keep yourself informed about the honest intentions of the European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper and please do not quote doubtful sources anymore!
I strongly believe the end result you want is the same as the end result that the ESBC want. Only our individual style might vary.
Instead of blaming each other, we should work hand in hand for a better future of Bougainville!
Axel G. Sturm
President of the ESBC
Escaldes-Engordany, August 4 th , 2008
European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper:
Mr. Albanese, please remove BCL chairman immediately!
On Tuesday the President of the European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper, Axel G. Sturm, wrote a letter to Rio Tinto Chief Executive Officer Tom Albanese and asked him to remove BCL’s chairman Peter R. Taylor immediately. “We deeply regret that we do not have any other option as to do so.,” Mr. Sturm commented in a statement published today in Andorra.
Since a couple of months, there is a strong positive move towards resumption of mining on the remote island of Bougainville.
Bougainville hosts one of the world’s biggest copper-, gold- and silver resources, the Panguna mine. Due to secessionist unrest, BCL had to close the giant mine in 1989. Now, nearly twenty years later, most of the Bougainvilleans learnt that only resumption of mining can generate sufficient income to ease the worrying social and economic problems and to fund necessary infrastructure investments like rebuilding of schools, hospitals, roads, telecommunication etc. . “The Panguna landowners who I met in Port Moresby earlier in May officially invited BCL to come back and resume mining,” Mr. Sturm said, “but obviously Mr. Taylor does not want to listen to them attentively.”
Mr. Sturm and his Vice President Mr. Dächen assisted the 2008 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Bougainville Copper in Port Moresby. They testify that the BCL management seriously violated existing corporate governance rules. “The voting results of the AGM, shortly thereafter reported to the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) are purely faked figures,” Mr. Sturm explains. “There neither has been a serious control on justification to assist the AGM nor has the BCL management secured a regular counting of votes. The ESBC will not tolerate that AGM of Bougainville Copper, which effectively owns one of the potentially biggest copper mines in the world, is managed like a burger shop. Therefore, the ESBC also informed the ASX upon their claim to remove chairman Peter Taylor from heading BCL.”
Furthermore, the ESBC in their letter complain about the chairman’s arrogance to not answering the landowners’ inquiries and the lack of corporate communications by BCL to its fellow stakeholders. “In May 2007 Mr. Taylor announced a so called “Three-Years-Plan” for reopening the Panguna mine. Since that date, Taylor did not release any further information of that plan to his shareholders. There is no information of a time schedule, no information of the roadmap and the steps to take, simply nothing,” said Mr. Sturm, “We the shareholders simply claim our legal right to be regularly and generally kept informed about the ongoing activities of our company. Although we accept that some sensitive contents might not be suitable to be published to a greater public. We strongly hope that Tom Albanese and other responsible managers of Rio Tinto take notice of these serious corporate governance violations and acknowledge that Bougainville Copper Limited needs a new and serious leadership that respects the legal rights of its shareholders and that is acting in a responsible, dynamic, active, creative, and motivated shareholder communication! The shareholders and especially the Bougainvilleans on the ground expect partners in BCL that they can trust in!”
European Shareholders welcome Panguna Landowner Announcement: BCL must act now!
“We appreciate very much, that the Panguna Landowners are firmly going forward in the process of paving the way for the re-opening of one of the biggest and richest copper-, gold and silver mines of the world,” said the President of the European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper (ESBC), Mr. Axel G. Sturm, on Monday in Andorra / Europe. “When I met him in May in Port Moresby, I had been deeply impressed by Lawrence Daveona. He is the ideal mediator in this sensitive issue. He has our confidence and our full support as well. Earlier than others Lawrence understood that the only way of bringing enduring peace and prosperity to the island of Bougainville means first of all getting all parties concerned together,” said Mr. Sturm. “I always told my interlocutors in Port Moresby that, if there is a strong will to find a solution on all sides, the new Bougainville Copper Agreement could be ratified within a very short term. Even a date in August when pre-feasibility order of the magnitude study shall be finished by BCL may be realistic.” Furthermore, Mr. Sturm pointed out that the ESBC now expect BCL chairman Peter Taylor finally to make a concrete public statement on this issue: “To make it quite clear: It is absolutely not acceptable that our company keeps quiet if there is such positive development on facts in Bougainville!”
European BCL Shareholders Offer their Condolences to the People of Bougainville.
In a statement published on Saturday in Andorra the President of The European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper (ESBC) expressed his dismay about the sudden death of Bougainville’s President Joseph Kabui. Axel G. Sturm pointed out that Mr. Kabui already has his firm place in the island’s history. “Joseph Kabui and I were born in the same year,” said Mr. Sturm, “nevertheless we had different approaches on politics but we were united in the will to bring peace and prosperity to Bougainville. We have high respect for Mr. Kabui’s work for the island. The ESBC offer their condolences to the people of Bougainville and to Mr. Kabui’s family as well. We will keep his memory in mind.”
ESBC: Call for Help for Buka Hospital.
On Tuesday the European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper Ltd (ESCB) wrote a letter to Peter Taylor chairman of BCL asking him for help for the Buka hospital that risks of running out on important medicines the next days. ESBC President Axel G. Sturm who recently visited PNG declared in Bangkok: “We do not want that there will be another more deaths on Bougainville as there were in the years following up the so called Bougainville crises. Therefore, the ESBC appeal to the members of the board of BCL to investigate if there is a possibility for Bougainville Copper Ltd. or the Bougainville Copper Foundation to provide help in this situation. It is not acceptable that in a modern world people must die because of absence of cheap basic drugs like antibiotics etc. We would appreciate very much if the board would find a solution for this dangerous situation. The ESBC would welcome if a major part of the dividends that are not paid to the shareholders could be used for that purpose.
ESBC: Strong Support for Landowner’s Claim.
The European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper Ltd (ESCB) strongly support the landowner’s claim for re-opening the giant Panguna mine on Bougainville as recently expressed. ESBC President Axel G. Sturm pointed out on Wednesday in Singapore, that there must be a new approach in all activities concerning the resuming of mining in Bougainville. “We are very much satisfied that the landowners made this first and important step towards BCL,” said Mr. Sturm, “that shows us that a lot of people in Bougainville want BCL come back home to work on the island. Now it is up to the ABG and to the PNG government to make sure that there will be permanent peace and security applied.” Mr. Sturm underlined that without peace and security no investor would give any money to rebuild the island’s damaged infrastructure. Especially the environmental damage due to the sudden departure of mine workers in 1989 caused by the aggression of rebels have to be repaired as quick as possible: “Only a very big mining company like BCL can shoulder a task like this,” said Mr. Sturm, “Also the damage by uncontrolled mining and the use of mercury to separate the gold caused a deep impact to the environment that is supposed to be even higher. Today’s modern mining can provide environmental caring methods of high standard. We absolutely do not want that there will be another young generation in Bougainville that must grow up without education and without a vision of a brilliant future. Only mining can earn the financial funding for progress in Bougainville. The landowners understood and accepted their responsibility for future.”
ESBC President meets Deputy Prime Minister of PNG.
Hon. Dr. Puka Temu, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Mining met on Friday Mr. Axel G. Sturm , the President of the European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper Ltd. (ESBC), in his office. Mr. Sturm pronounced his concern on the slow ongoing process in the re-opening of the huge Panguna mine in Central Bougainville: “In the past 20 years Bougainvilleans suffered a lot. They lost already one generation due to the unrest, said Mr. Sturm, “it must not be that another young generation is in danger. Therefore, the ESBC claim for a fast resumption of mining on the ground. Only mining by a big and experienced company can earn the giant funds that are needed to build up the destroyed infrastructure in Bougainville. We are also irritated that the ABG prefers to deal with doubtful companies without any mining experience instead of working together with BCL. After many confidential talks that I had until now here in Port Moresby, I am very positively impressed about the huge number of intelligent supporters of mining in Bougainville.”
European Shareholders to arrive in Port Moresby for Bougainville Copper General Annual Meeting.
A delegation of the European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper Ltd. (ESBC) is expected to arrive in Port Moresby earlier next week. In a statement published on Monday in Bangkok (Thailand) ESBC-President Axel G. Sturm pointed out that the ESBC want to help to overcome old anxieties and doubts between the parties concerned: “It must be clear that future mining on Bougainville must avoid environmental damage and that the people of Bougainville take a maximum of profit by professional mining,” said Mr. Sturm, “I am very glad that Mr. Swen Lorenz who recently wrote an outstanding study on Panguna will be with us. Mr. Lorenz will bring an excellent in-put of ideas to the assembly. We, the ESBC, expect a strong vote of all Bougainvilleans that they want BCL come back to the island and to build up a prosperous future for them. Every day where the mine is not open is a lost day for Bougainville.”
ESBC-President Axel G. Sturm is supposed to stay six days in PNG for in-depth-discussions before leaving to Singapore for further talks.
European BCL Shareholders are worried!
Invincible Resources Financed by Russian Mafia?
Rumours coming up from Bougainville say that businessmen with near connections to the Russian mafia might have financed the investment of Canadian Invincible Resources on Bougainville. “We also heard of these rumours,” says Mr. Axel G. Sturm , the President of the European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper (ESBC), “but we can neither confirm nor deny if that is true. When Invincible Resources gave some millions of Kina to President Kabui and the ABG, the ESBC made an in-depth research on this unknown Canadian company. The results were alarming. Apparently, the company owns only a two-room office in Vancouver (Canada) with four persons working in it. Further: the company is not registered in official Canadian business listings and has obviously no telephone, no fax and no internet. The acting directors of Invincible Resources (IR) seem also having been involved in doubtful business activities within the last years. On our point of view, business cooperation with these Canadians seems not to be recommendable. We strongly hope that the rumours are not true, but if it should be the truth that IR is a cover organisation for Russian mafia funds,” comments Mr. Sturm, “President Kabui plays an extremely dangerous game. Our most conservative qualification for the Canadian company is: It has absolutely no reputation! After years of unrest the island of Bougainville now needs imperatively stability and a faithful partnership in business affairs to build up a better future for the population.”
New Homepage for the European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper (ESBC)!
Copper/Gold-tone is the colour of the new webpage of the European Shareholders of the giant BCL-Copper mine in Panguna (Bougainville) that have been presented yesterday to the public in Andorra ( Europe ). “We are very glad that we were able to reserve the prestigious internet address www.bougainville-copper.eu for us”, said ESBC President Axel G. Sturm . “That gives us the possibility to communicate all relevant news on mining on Bougainville to a greater public. Especially today where resumption of mining on the island is nearer than ever before, our homepage will be a good forum where interested people can find all information needed about Bougainville and the Bougainvilleans and their way to become a prosperous region in the future.” The members of the ESBC intend to make sure that mistakes as made in the past will not happen again.” Further, the Europe based group of investors wants to survey intensively that the development on the island will bring profit to all Bougainvilleans. Therefore, the ESBC gives support to all good willing people on the island who want progress for their home country. “The MOU that was just signed”, said Mr. Sturm, “is a first big step towards a brilliant future. There are more steps to follow. My dream is that all Bougainvilleans reconcile, destroy their weapons and work faithfully together with us.”
Lorenz' Comment on BCL-Annual Report 2007
The European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper Ltd. a re proud to announce that the Anglo-German author and investor, Mr. Swen Lorenz, just published an interesting commentary on the 2007 Annual Report of Bougainville Copper Ltd. that was issued yesterday. Lorenz, who wrote an in-depth report on the company ( http://www.bougainville-copper.eu/mediapool/59/599247/data/Undervalued-Shares-BOC-UK-200712-PG0008526520.pdf ) and his dormant Panguna mine, which is considered to be one of the biggest and richest open pits of the world, summarizes:
My hope that the BCA review and renegotiation would be revived in 2007 did not come to pass. I think it is better to get the process right than fast track it and fail. Both the ABG and landowners have some issues to resolve before they are able to participate meaningfully and I am pleased at the progress that has been made. In my view the real key to success is finding the right champion to drive the process and I am optimistic the MRA will be that champion. The opportunities that the current resources boom offer will not be maintained indefinitely. If the main stakeholders are to gain mutual economic benefit from Bougainville’s mineral potential, a proper framework needs to be put in place without delay.
During the year, more work was undertaken on preparing for the possible lifting of the moratorium on new exploration and mining. Targets are in the process of being identified within the company licences. There is no shortage of parties willing to participate in an exploration program with BCL.
Work is also being undertaken to ensure the extensive mine database the company has is up to date and able to be utilised quickly and effectively if a resumption of mining is agreed.
The Board is committed to the vision: “Return to active Exploration and Profitable Mining” as outlined in our 3 year Strategic Plan.
Achievement of our vision to return to active exploration and profitable mining is dependent on Bougainville communities reconciling issues and living in harmony. Normalisation of society continues to be a major concern. Ongoing civil unrest and restrictions to free movement inhibit the ability to govern, and progress living standards and development projects.
I am heartened by the support BCL is receiving from a wide cross section of the Bougainville and PNG community for it to reopen the mine. There is a general recognition that redevelopment will be a major undertaking requiring the resources and expertise of an experienced and well resourced developer. With the industry consolidating at a rapid rate there are becoming fewer companies who fit the bill. The work that has been done through the year by BCL’s major shareholder, Rio Tinto, has shown just how valuable access to the right resources can be. It has been possible to apply new software and techniques to BCL’s old data and reproduce it in a form that places BCL years ahead of any other potential developer without access to this very important data set. It is also possible that grades once designated as waste can be economically processed and thus prolong the life of the mine and substantially increase its output.
Source: Bougainville Copper, Annual Report 2008
Available for download: http://www.bougainville-copper.eu/mediapool/59/599247/data/AnnualReport2007-BOC.pdf
ESBC: BCL Shareholders in Bougainville Need a Voice
I a statement, published in Andorra on Monday 7 th , the president of the European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper (ESBC), Mr. Axel G. Sturm , addressed himself to all shareholders of BCL who are resident in Bougainville. “The local shareholders need to unite and they must found an organisation like the ESBC. This organisation could speak with one voice for all the Bougainvillean owners of securities in BCL. The shareholders have to mobilize and to assume their role in the ongoing discussions on mining on the island. Besides the landowners, the local BCL shareholders are the most concerned group in mining matters”, said Mr. Sturm.”It is not acceptable that the joint owners of the giant copper, gold and silver mine in Panguna are not heard neither by the ABG, nor by the PNG government and nor by the BCL management as well. As shareholders of BCL they are not only co-owners of the mining rights in Panguna but also owners of the rights of seven other leases on Bougainville. It is not correct by the ABG to make secret deals with companies from abroad without consulting their own citizens who invested in Bougainville Copper Limited. The members of the ESBC agree completely with the critics of the Chiefs of South- and Central Bougainville published last week-end.” The European Shareholders of BCL stand for resuming of mining in Bougainville under environmental caring conditions and for fairness in the allocation of future benefits. “A government has the right to fix the rules for mining only,” said Mr. Sturm, “but it has not the right to give away the property of others!”
European BCL Shareholders Welcome Parliamentary Investigation on Invincible
The European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper (ESBC) declared on Wednesday in Andorra (Europe) that they are very satisfied that PNG’s Parliamentary Referral Committee on Minerals and Energy had been charged to bring some light into the so called Invincible Deal and into the Bogenvil Resource Development Corporation Agreement. “From the beginning we asked ourselves why the late President Joseph Kabui and some of his near friends in the ABG entered into negotiations with a man like Lindsay Semple who is well known as an impostor”, said ESBC-President Axel G. Sturm .
Semple and twenty-five Bougainvilleans, some of them members of the ABG, are supposed to be travelling in Europe for a road show (presentation of new business projects to investors). “We started in investigation on this famous road show and we did not have any result”, said Mr. Sturm, “so we think that they are simply on holiday. Such a big group of people who are looking for some new business abroad cannot disappear! We are keen to see with which result the group will come back to PNG. If they were really on a road show they will have an A to Z documentary on their work in their luggage. And if they don’t, they are certainly able to explain what they did while travelling around the world.”