New dawn for BCL: Chairman

It is a new dawn for Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) as an independently managed PNG company, following Rio Tinto’s complete exit in the middle of 2016.

BCL chairman Robert Burns made the statement during their first board meeting in more than 27 years. The event was held on August 3 at Buka.

The board, led by Burns, included Sir Rabbie Namaliu, Dame Carol Kidu, Sir Moi Avei and members of BCL’s senior management team.

Burns said many everyday PNG citizens, including Bougainvilleans, are among BCL shareholders in addition to the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) and Independent State of Papua New Guinea (major shareholders).

“The Buka board meeting was something of a historic moment for us as a company and demonstrates our high level of commitment to Bougainville going forward,” Burns stated.

The BCL board and senior management separately met with ABG President John Momis and Vice President Raymond Masono to discuss important issues regarding BCL’s Panguna redevelopment plan.

“We certainly appreciate the ABG’s ongoing support and the fact they strongly re-stated their position regarding a new Panguna mining project with BCL as its developer,” Burns said.

The company also continues to further build relationships with landowners from project areas and again met with representatives from the nine landowner associations who were in Buka for their bi-monthly meeting.

Burns said landowner representatives voiced their support for BCL and expressed a desire to see the Panguna project advance.  

BCL has established an office in Buka and has appointed Ephraim Eminoni to manage its local team.

Freddy Mou