The nine associations representing landowners of the former Panguna mine have made a request to Bougainville President, Chief John Momis, that any lift of the moratorium on mining exploration be delayed until after a Bel Kol ceremony is held with Bougainville Copper Limited.
“[Bel Kol] has been requested by the landowners,” President Momis stated.
“They want to see this customary first step towards reconciliation about mining-related issues that caused conflict completed before there is any formal step towards resumption of large-scale mining in Bougainville.
“They are asking all Bougainvilleans and outside mining interests to respect their wishes in this regard.”
The President has stated that a decision on the moratorium may not be made until October and is dependent on the successful implementation regulatory arrangement for small scale mining.
The Autonomous Bougainville Government Mining Act limits the number of simultaneous large-scale mines to two.