BCL is not welcome: Landowners

The Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) is not welcome on the Island, say landowners.

This is from a now united landowners’ voice and group, who have reconciled with each other and have come up with a resolution to stop BCL once and for all.

17 years after the Bougainville conflict, the Me'ekamui Government of Unity (MGU) and the Special Mining Lease (SML) customary landowner groups have been working separately and often in conflict with each other.

However, in a joint press statement on March 3, the two landowner leaders have revealed that they have reconciled and are now working to stop BCL together.

Philip Miriori, from MGU, and Lawrence Daveona from the SML have signed a statement to show unity in the fight for their land.

Both leaders further stated that in 2014, the ABG passed the mining act which gave BCL a two-year exploration license over the special mining lease area. BCL did not negotiate a land access and compensation agreement and so did not enter the exploration license area during this two-year period, which has already lapsed.

They said all Panguna landowners do not support an extension of the exploration license.

“For the chairman of BCL to state publicly last week that he has the support of Panguna and landowners is false,” stated the leaders.

The MGU and SML emphasised that no company should be allowed to explore without resource land owner consultations and agreements.

“No consent has been given to BCL by either SML or MGU.

“SML now seeks an urgent meeting with the ABG President to discuss this matter and on behalf of the landowners, stop BCL once and for all.

“The Bougainville peace agreement is at stake.”

(The now closed Panguna mine)

Press release