Bougainville to continue pursuit of Rio Tinto

More changes in the ownership of Bougainville Copper Ltd will not deter the province's Autonomous Government from suing 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.

But he said they still intend taking action against Rio Tinto after the mining multi-national walked away from Bougainville without clearing up the environmental and social problems caused by its huge Panguna mine.

"If we can find the resources to assist us, because they just walked away, and their excuse, the weak excuse they gave was they operated under the law of Papua New Guinea."

"So it is not just a legal thing and the law was perceived as totally unjust and unethical in the first place," he said.