By Gideon Davika
Local people in Central and South Bougainville are now discovering gold deposits in new areas outside of Panguna and the old mine at Kupe which was started by German settlers.
In the Central region newly discovered gold deposits are Dangtangnai in Kokoda Constituency, Komana in South Nasioi Constituency and Isina in Kongara Constituency.
In South Bougainville in Buin gold has been discovered at the foot of Mount Leuro in the Konnou constituency.
The local miners in most areas are using conveyors and gold washing dishes to extract the gold.
However in the Konnou one particular group from Tobago, lead by ex-combatant Damien Koige, uses hired machines to dig and make stockpiles.
In some areas, such as Komana and Isina, small scale mining has been banned due to issues such as water pollution and land disputes.
A village leader from Isina, David Dapoung, stated that washing gold has been banned in their area because the water becomes dirty every day.
“This land is our customary land,” said Mr Dapoung.
“We don’t want people to dig here and there and spoil our land which is for our future generation.”
Most of the locals in that area suggested that gold which is found on their land shouldn’t be dug but kept as their treasure.