John Momis

Bougainville to continue pursuit of Rio Tinto

Prime Minister Peter O'Neill, this week announced PNG was gifting its Rio Tinto shares in Bougainville Copper Ltd or BCL to the province.

This means Bougainville will have majority control of BCL, something the province had been seeking.

President John Momis has expressed his gratitude for the move and said he hopes the shares would come directly to his Government.

Ball rolling on Bougainville referendum

The date has been agreed on in a breakthrough meeting between the PNG central government and Bougainville's regional government co-chaired by PNG prime minister Peter O'Neill and Bougainville president John Momis.

Under the terms of the Bougainville Peace Agreement, a referendum must be conducted in Bougainville before mid-2020.

President Momis said that although the date could not yet be finalised, due to various legal steps required to be taken first, it would be impossible to plan the referendum without a target date.

Bougainville threatens PNG govt with legal action

John Momis says many millions of dollars is due to Bougainville as per the peace agreement concluded with PNG in 2001.

In a lengthy statement, Mr Momis says his government estimates that PNG has underpaid Bougainville for the recurrent unconditional grant and owes at least US$33 million dollars, which must be paid immediately.

The president says Bougainville is owed another US$207 million under the Restoration and Development Grant.

Mr Momis says the national tax office is also failing to hand over taxes collected in Bougainville.