ABG Vice President and Minister for Mining, Hon. Raymond Masono, have slammed claims made by the Panguna Landowners of being shut out of discussions undertaken by the ABG Department of Mineral and Energy Resources.
“The claim by landowners of the Panguna Mine that they are being shut out by the ABG Mining Department is not only misleading but is probably propaganda to attract continued interest in the stock market for their preferred investor,” Masono said.
Minister Masono said it was the SMLOLA that requested for the deferment of all Panguna-related discussions until adter the referendum and therefore the ABG had also agreed to this proposal.
“The landowners request was made to the Parliamentary Legislative Committee during its consultations on the proposed amendment to the Bougainville Mining Act.”
The Legislative Committee had also recommended that any processes on the amendments be deferred until after the referendum.
The Minister has called on the landowners to be constructive and representative of all landowners and to openly discuss with the ABG about the future of Panguna.
“I am requesting SMLOLA and other landowner representative groups to be prepared to come to the discussion table without prejudices and openly discuss the government policy on Panguna. This is the only way to reach agreement on a way forward that satisfies all stakeholders.
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