RTG Mining has announced that following its nomination as the preferred development partner of the Panguna Landowners Association – the Special Mining Lease Osikaiyang Landowners Association (SMLOLA) and the establishment of the joint venture between RTG and its subsidiaries and Landowners through Panguna Minerals Limited (formerly CMEL), the consortium was invited to present their redevelopment proposal for Panguna to the House of Representatives in September 2018.
|Panguna Mine, located in Central Bougainville. Image courtesy of ©RTG Mining|
The Panguna Mine, located in Central Bougainville, was reported as the largest open pit copper mine in the world in its day, contributing approximately 40 per cent of the total economy of Papua New Guinea. The mine was closed down in 1988 due to widespread community concerns over the previous operator’s treatment of the environment and inequitable benefit sharing amongst the Landowners.
The SMLOLA are working with the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) and the members of the House of Representatives to win support for this important Panguna Landowner led initiative.
The RTG-led consortium presented its proposal to a number of members of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville House of Representatives. This led to the SMLOLA announcing they had won the support of the House of Representatives Committee from Central Bougainville for its proposal on Panguna, together with support from members throughout Bougainville.
The SMLOLA continue to be sensitive to the wishes of the ABG and have refined and amended their proposal as requested by the ABG. The Landowners are working hard to win the support of the ABG, which is an ongoing process. A number of Ministers in the ABG have recently indicated that they have a number of concerns which were based on incorrect information, which is being corrected for the benefit of the ABG and all members of Parliament.
RTG is also pleased to provide a further important update on its community engagement program on Bougainville which is critical to the success in building and continuing to strengthen the Social Licence in Bougainville.
The Panguna Landowners and RTG believe a Social License is the most critical issue to ultimately winning the support of the ABG and the wider community. The Joint Venture is committed to working diligently to continue to constructively engage fully with the Panguna community.
This has included an extensive community awareness program in all the key villages which has resulted not only in a successful reconciliation of the leadership, but also a high degree of unity and the support of around 90 per cent of available Blockholders across the broader membership base of the SMLOLA. This program of community engagement is ongoing and has been very well received, with support continuing to grow.
RTG Mining is a mining and exploration company listed on the main board of the Toronto Stock Exchange and Australian Securities Exchange. RTG is focused on developing the high-grade copper/gold/magnetite Mabilo Project and advancing exploration on the highly prospective Bunawan Project, both in the Philippines.
This article appears in its entirety in the 4Q The ASIA Miner print magazine