Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL)

BCL pays out LOs’ outstanding millions

BCL Chairman, Mel Togolo, said during the company’s 2018 Annual General Meeting that the company volunteered to settle landowner claims relating to historic land compensation payments from March 1990 to March 1991.

This involved 2, 123 payments of K14.6 million.

Togolo said payments commenced in February 2017 and more than 96 percent has been paid, and they continue to work with families to finalise the remaining payments.

He said this re-established important community contacts and built goodwill.

BCL wishes to create goodwill

He also said the company wishes to create goodwill among communities as they plan to redevelop Panguna Mine.

Togolo said this following the company’s Annual General Meeting on Thursday.

Togolo said it was important to note that BCL was a PNG company with both the PNG and ABG governments as major shareholders.

“The National Government and the Autonomous Bougainville Government have 36.4 percent each. They own the company because they have significant interest in the company on behalf of their respective people,” said Togolo.

Hearing on BCL licence case next month

The decision made on 16 January 2018 by the Autonomous Bougainville Government has been stayed by the court since April 10, pending the substantive hearing.

It was stayed after leave was granted by Justice Leka Nablu of the Waigani National Court.

Parties in the case, including another interested party, appeared before the National Court today (April 23).

The case will return to court on May 10.

BCL applied for the renewal of its exploration licence on 6 May 2016 from the Department of Mineral and Energy Resources of the Autonomous Bougainville Government.

Landowners applaud ABG

The Special Mining Lease Osikaiyang Landowners Association (SMLOLA) said as evidenced by the recent warden’s hearing, the landowners for the first time were given the opportunity to speak their mind.

“The hearing clearly showed that BCL does not have the support of the community at large, even after a two-year exploration licence and a further period of nearly 18 months were given,” said SMLOA chairman Philip Miriori.

BCL announces new appointments

BCL chairman Robert Burns said the company was delighted that both gentlemen had agreed to join the board given the extensive experience and unique perspectives each would bring, during an important period of development for the company.

“Mel and Peter are highly regarded in PNG and have intimate knowledge of the resources industry both here and abroad, which they have gained through what can only be described as long and distinguished careers,” Burns said.

Mel Togolo

New dawn for BCL: Chairman

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).

Chiefs prevent ABG from signing deal

This was where the proposed signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was to be held between the Autonomous Bougainville Government and so-called Panguna landowners. The deal would see Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) return to reopen the Panguna Mine.

The impenetrable roadblock was led by women chief from the ‘seven sisters’ areas in Central Bougainville.

BCL is not welcome: 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.

BCL asked to show cause

The Mining & Petroleum Review (Vol. 4 Issue 3) reports that the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) Department of Minerals and Energy raised the question following allegations of a breach by BCL of Section 112 (1) of the ABG Mining Act 2015 and a condition of the exploration license.

The development follows a decision by Rio Tinto to offload its equity to the ABG (36.4 percent) and PNG Government (17.4 percent).