INDEPENDENT NEWS

ESBC Lauds Positive News from Bougainville

Published: Wed 29 Aug 2007 02:29 PM
ESBC Lauds Positive News from Bougainville
The president of the European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper (ESBC), Mr Axel G. Sturm, declared on Wednesday in France: "We are very surprised about the positive news from Bougainvilleand we appreciate very much that now the time has come to start serious discussions on future mining in the Panguna area. We are also glad that President Joseph Kabui wants to meet Mr Albanese from Rio Tinto. Congratulations to him too that he visited the No-Go-Zone. We hope that Panguna now will become a Welcome-Zone and that our experts can visit the mine in the near future."
Mr Sturm represents the third biggest group of investors in BCL in Europe. The ESBC claim for fairness between all parties involved in the Panguna copper project and fights for mining that has only minimal environmental impact.
"Since the Panguna mine was closed," said Mr. Sturm, "mining technology made a giant step forward. Severe damage of nature can be avoided today. In our discussions with the BCL board of directors we always point out that the latest and most modern techniques must be used in Bougainville. That is why the reopening of the Paguna mine is estimated round about 1.2 billion US Dollars (K3,54 billion). This is a very important investment in the future of Bougainville and the Bougainvillean people."
Addressing to Chief David Sisito Mr Sturm said: "The ESBC is open to every fair discussion with our partners. But we remember too that the 'coin Panguna' has two sides like every coin. One side is fulfilled with mistakes of Rio Tinto and others in the past, but the other side is represents the struggle of the Bougainvilleans for their independence from PNG. We should not forget this either. We agree to talks with Mr. Sisito to discuss all his claims of compensation as published today. But Mr. Sisito, are you ready too to talk with us about compensation of financial losses for the shareholders of BCL within the last 18 years when the mine staid closed?"
Mr. Sturm: "I mean we are a new generation of people who is acting now and who have to shoulder a big task. That means that we all have to work together to build up a better future for Bougainville. The European Shareholders of BCL are ready to face their responsibility in fairness and good will."
 ENDS

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