Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto does not control BCL: Spokesperson

In a statement refuting recent claims against the firm, a company spokesperson said: “Rio Tinto fully exited BCL on the 30th June 2016 by transferring its 53.8 percent shareholding to an independent trustee for distribution to the ABG and the Independent State of Papua New Guinea.

“The PNG Government and the ABG drew down their shareholding on the 30th June 2016 and 19th August 2016 respectively.”

Reject Rio deal for Bougainville: Parkop

The Governor stated that he and his party, the Social Democratic Party (SDP), will focus on rejecting the Rio Tinto offer.

Speaking at a press conference upon his arrival in Buka last week, he said the people of Bougainville cannot be offered shares over a mine that doesn’t exist.

“It’s more like a ‘catch-22’, a share that amounts to nothing but if it does amount to something then we will be forced to re-open the mine,” Parkop said.

“We need an offer that is fair and equitable that suits us better in the lives that were lost and the destruction caused culturally.

PNG mineral prospects high

The Minerals Resources Authority said positivity remains high following the registration of the Frieda River and Wafi-Golpu SMLs and the entry of Anglo American, as reported in the Mining and Petroleum Review (Vol.4 Issue 3).

The SML applications have been described as a unique situation in PNG mining history as there has been, on average, one project per decade.

The MRA says active licenses have increased for the period January to August 2016, from 125 to 134 (a 7 percent increase), which is consistent with the renewals increasing from 54 to 68.

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).

Cabinet to discuss BCL shares

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill confirmed this to Loop PNG this morning.

He said the discussion will not only relate to Bougainville shares but LNG shares, Western Province Ok Tedi shares and others.

“This government wants to empower landowners to have rights and ownership of their resources.

“And I will deliver that before I go to the elections in 2017”.

Bougainville fury over Rio Tinto grows

The company split its shares between the autonomous provincial government and the national government in Port Moresby.

But Bougainville is furious that it was not given all the shares, and that Rio Tinto said it is was no longer obliged to do anything about the damage caused by the Panguna mine, which sparked a civil war that lasted through the 1990s.

The province hoped to reopen the mine as a way to generate revenue should it vote to become independent from PNG after a referendum scheduled for 2019.

Rio Gives Away Stake in PNG Mine With $51 Billion Reserves

The London-based miner has transferred its 54 percent holding in Bougainville Copper Ltd., owner of the Panguna project, to an independent trustee “for no consideration,” Rio said in a statement Thursday. The trustee will manage the distribution of shares to national and local governments.

The divestment comes as the world’s second-biggest miner prepares for a change in leadership, with Jean-Sebastien Jacques to replace Sam Walsh as chief executive officer from July 2.