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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Compensation Key To Reopening Bougainville Mine: Landowner
Forum gets underway to discuss possibly restarting mining at Panguna

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Feb. 24, 2013) – People in the north of the autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville gather in Buka this week to air their views on a possible re-opening of the huge Panguna copper mine.

Dissatisfaction over the mine was the catalyst for the outbreak of the civil war and it has lain idle for the past 24 years.

The forum in Buka is the second of four planned around the province to gauge feelings about a possible re-opening.

A Panguna landowner and former presidential candidate, Martin Miriori, says compensation is the first and foremost issue.

"Because today people are still talking about loss of life - 20,000 lives lost, properties lost, businesses, and in order for any settlement to be made compensation has to be a matter that has to be addressed."

Martin Miriori says just how much compensation would be sought has yet to be decided.

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