It is a major breakthrough that the ABG represented by the President are serious about a review of the BCA. The previous ABG Govt strayed into uncharted territory by their obsession with an unknown entity in Invincible.
The positive steps that have taken place in the last 5 weeks are:
1. For the first time in 20 years PNG Department of Mines representatives visited Panguna
2. For the first time in 20 years the ABG invited BCL and BCL visited Bougainville
The landowners want to fast track development. With the June 2010 elections only months away the ABG leadership realise that if they go back to their electorates with empty pockets they will get empty ballot boxes in return. So they need to move fast.
This is the proposed Action Plan:
ABG Gives [October 2009]:
1. Peace, good law and order and favourable investment climate and tax
regime that includes exemption from dividend withholding tax and interest withholding tax
2. All Guns to be surrendered: Bougainville to be a Gun Free Zone.
Combatants to be paid two rates: one rate for each home made gun surrendered already (the records of this exist already) another rate for automatic guns. Negotiations with Me’ekamui; removal of road blocks.
3. Opening of Arawa port and Aropa airport
4. Elections of a properly constituted body of representatives of
Landowners [in the interim elected representatives of the Old and New Panguna Landowners should be accepted as the legitimate authorized representatives of Landowners]
Landowners Give [October 2009] and Forgive:
1. Support for New BCA unanimously endorsed in a Mining forum meeting
2. Unrestricted and free access to BCL without any fear
National Government Gives [Joint Supervisory Board Nov 2009]:
1. National Govt’s 76.4 million shares will be given in a trust for
Bougainvilleans. Trust to be supervised by UN, World Bank or some such eminent body.
2. The tax from mining will be shared equally between ABG and the National
Govt until such time as the autonomy referendum takes place in 2015. First three years after signing of New BCA tax free.
New BCA signed [Dec 2009]:
Jointly signed [ABG, National Govt, Landowners and BCL] New Bougainville Copper Agreement [BCA] that includes lifting of moratorium on leases and permission to mine New BCA to be signed as a Supplemental Agreement appended with the Old BCA preferred time frame April 2009.
BCL Gives [Dec 2009] after signing of the New BCA:
1. K11 million plus interest to landowners at signing of New BCA
2. Agreement to give royalty of 3.5% of sales to landowners; cash flow to
commence when ore ready for milling is processed [commencing early to mid 2010]
3. Debt raising by RIO against future copper and gold production maybe by
issuing copper bonds to Chinalco or some other similar entity that has an appetite for a secure supply of copper in future.