Morumbi Resources has reported positive developments on Bougainville with respect to the formation of mining policy. A mining policy on the island is a condition precedent under the 2004 Bougainville Constitution in order to demonstrate administrative capacity for the drawdown of full powers over mining to the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) from Papua New Guinea.
This process is a prelude to lifting the moratorium over mining on Bougainville and the issuing of exploration licences to companies like Morumbi.
After months of stalemate with respect to mineral ownership, the Bougainville Executive Council (BEC) in mid-2013 accepted and formally endorsed the recommendations of the joint ABG and Bougainville Resource Owners Representative Committee technical teams in a briefing to the BEC – that the true intentions and meaning of Section 23, is to be implemented – to return the ownership of minerals to the customary landholders as required under the Bougainville Constitution.
The BEC has endorsed the work in progress between stakeholders and has subsequently given drafting instructions for the new Mining Act to be formulated.