visitors since April 2008


Press Review 2010


Here you will find only press articles related to the

information released by



The European Shareholders

of Bougainville Copper





Source: The Australian


Rising prices boost Bougainville mine hopes
by Rowan Callick, Asia-Pacific editor


Peter Taylor, who has been chairman of Bougainville Copper (BCL) since 2003 and managing director since 2000 and who worked on Bougainville as company secretary from 1985 to 1987, is a mining industry veteran whose priorities are all about people.

He says his focus is not on the hardware or the engineering or on raising the $3 billion that the reopening is expected to cost.

He says: "We must ensure the landowners retain number one importance. And the Bougainville government's support is also critical. All the signs are that the leaders on Bougainville want the mine open, and as soon as possible, rather than just some day. And the national government agrees."

Bougainville's new President, John Momis, elected for five years in June, is a former Catholic priest and former deputy prime minister.

While campaigning for the PNG election in 1987, he famously presented a letter to the then BCL managing director, Paul Quodling, that demanded the company give 3 per cent of its gross income to the Bougainville provincial government.

The request received wide support on Bougainville, but Quodling said it was impossible to meet, adding to tensions that soon exploded on the ground.

During the civil war, a leading rebel attempted to shoot Momis at close range from behind, but the pistol jammed.

Momis now says: "We are keen to reopen the Panguna mine, and we are holding talks with the landowners. Of course, Bougainville needs the mine to be reopened under a new regime. All parties should learn lessons from the crisis, and collaborate to build a better future."

Momis recently led a group of 34 -- including former combatants -- to China, where he recently served as PNG ambassador. China is likely to play a role in the rebuilt mine as leading customer, equity partner, or both.

Bougainville is an autonomous region within PNG, and under a peace accord with PNG, it has the right to administer its own mining and land laws. The World Bank has been funding a program to help Bougainville define its own mining regime.

Taylor hopes that this will complement the PNG mining legislation, which has helped facilitate a boom in foreign investment there.

Besides the $16.5bn ExxonMobil LNG project, there are promising gas finds in Western Province, and an onshore project in Gulf Province led by InterOil. The Frieda River copper-gold project led by Xstrata is due to move soon to full feasibility mode, and the Wafi project -- also copper-gold -- is not far behind. These are each likely to become $4bn-$5bn ventures.

The latter is owned by Newcrest and Harmony, which are commissioning the Hidden Valley gold-silver project.

Marengo Mining is proceeding with a feasibility study at Yandera, a copper-gold deposit not far from the $1.4bn Ramu Nickel project being developed by China's Metallurgical Construction Corp.

Since BCL suspended the mine, many groups have tried to control the promising mining zone.

"The Bougainvilleans have seen them come to the island, and haven't liked them," Taylor says.

So they have come back to BCL -- the devil they know -- despite all their past disagreements. The rogues have done BCL and its ultimate parent, Rio Tinto, a favour.

The 10-year civil war on Bougainville had many complex causes, and was a nightmare for many Rio executives.

The conflict led to big changes in how miners relate to host communities worldwide. So the reopening of the Bougainville mine would be redemptive for many groups, including Rio.

There is no timetable. Once an agreement is reached with the landowners, a feasibility study is approved and finance is in place, it will take a further two to three years to get mining under way again. The lengthiest part of that process would be the lead-time needed to order the huge trucks and other equipment to operate the mine.

Taylor says BCL will facilitate landowners' meetings and help ensure the reconciliation process goes ahead, "but we're mindful that we should not be seen to influence the proceedings.

"Everything needs to be worked out as the agreement is renegotiated -- including environmental issues such as tailings disposal, revenue sharing, ownership. And the landowners need to be resourced to participate effectively."

This is in marked contrast with the first incarnation of the mine, when the company was not permitted by the Australian government to negotiate directly with landowners.

"The situation is quite the reverse this time," Taylor says. "The landowners are setting the agenda, although everyone will put their wish-lists on the table."

He wants to see the landowners obtain equity in the project because it makes them "part of your business" and gives them a share of the income stream.

"The balance needs to change in favour of those who are giving up the most, and they are the landowners. To make the project successful and saleable, they have to be part of the company."

Raising the $3bn will be a relatively minor challenge.

Three big selling points of the project are that it already has a port at Loloho, an access road winding up 30km of rugged terrain, and has pre-stripped ore ready to extract, with 200 million tonnes available immediately.

"They give us a big leg-up," Taylor says.

Technology has improved since the mine was suspended, he says, and tailings can be safely stored even in an earthquake-prone area. "The landowners have to say which method they prefer," Taylor says. Previously, they were disposed of in the Jaba River, a cause of controversy.

They will also discuss whether workers fly in and fly out to the island or are based there, as they were before in the largely destroyed town of Arawa. Taylor says that the more local workers can be recruited, the better. "We have received numerous inquiries from ex-employees asking when we are re-opening."

The Ok Tedi mine would be an obvious source of skilled staff as it starts to scale down as the resource declines.

The other big factor exciting interest in the reopening of the Panguna pit is the likelihood that it will lead to the end of the moratorium on exploration that began in 1971.

Seven exploration licences covering 20 per cent of the island are held by BCL, and the potential to find new orebodies near the existing pit are considerable.

No one else holds any other exploration permits, even though a German-funded aeromagnetic survey 25 years ago revealed many highly prospective zones.

Through the past 21 years, the principal owner, Rio Tinto, did not close down BCL -- it has remained listed, playing a low-key role, waiting for the climate to change.

Its share price has soared as the likelihood of a reopening dawned on investors. They were rallied by Axel Sturm, the energetic German president of the European shareholders of Bougainville Copper. The company has even made a profit most years, from placing its remaining cash in Australian listed investment companies.

Taylor says that since the mine closed, the BCL Foundation has continued to fund 100 scholarships a year.

In a US court case, Bougainvilleans have claimed damages from Rio over the operation of the mine. This has become a test case for the extent of American jurisdiction, but no decision is likely until after the mine has reopened.

Former Bougainville Revolutionary Army "general" Ishmael Toroama insists that all the demands made by Bougainvilleans during the fighting must be met: "Panguna -- after the war -- now belongs to all Bougainvilleans," he says, insisting that the original claims for environmental compensation remain extant.

But the recently elected Bougainville government, and the Panguna Land Owners Association, have begun intense discussions.

No one is publicly discussing timetables yet. But in the minds of most of the stakeholders, the countdown has already begun.



Source: Platts

PNG PM says Bougainville copper mine could reopen after 20 years
Melbourne (Platts),


Work to reopen the world-scale Bougainville copper mine after a 20-year hiatus can potentially begin within two years, Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Michael Somare was reported as saying Monday.

Restarting operations will cost an estimated $4 billion, Australian media quoted Somare as saying at the opening of the PNG Mining and Petroleum Investment conference in Sydney.

The Panguna mine on PNG's eastern island of Bougainville shut down in May 1989 after sustaining damage during a secessionist uprising in which the issue of how income from the mine should be distributed was a key factor.

Bougainville's local media reported Monday that an agreement paving the way for the reopening of the mine had been reached with local landowners over the weekend.

"We are very satisfied on the meeting's outcome," the president of shareholder association European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper or ESBC, Axel Sturm told Islands Post's online edition. "This gives Bougainville the chance to recover financially from all suffering in the last 20 years."

The shuttered project is owned by Australia-listed Bougainville Copper Limited, or BCL, which remains active, and is in turn is owned 53.58% by Rio Tinto, 19.06% by the government of Papua New Guinea and 27.36% by public shareholders, according to the company's website.

The mine produced concentrate containing 3 million mt of copper, 299 mt (10.5 million oz) of gold and 763 mt of silver between commencing operations in 1972 and the end of 2008, representing 45% of PNG's exports over that period, BCL said in its 2008 annual report.

It produced 552,012 mt of concentrate containing 165,957 mt of copper, 13,862 kg (488,968 oz) of gold and 48,414 kg of silver in full-year 2008, its final full year of operation, according to the report.

--Wendy Wells,


Source: Post-Courier

BCL shareholders happy

THE European shareholders of Bougainville Copper (ESBC) welcomed the breakthrough achieved by the Panguna landowners on their conference in Buka (Bougainville) : “We are very satisfied on the meeting’s outcome,” said ESBC president Axel G. Sturm on Sunday evening in Bangkok.
“This gives Bougainville the chance to recover financially from all suffering in the last 20 years.
“I am very grateful to the Minister of Bougainville Affairs, Fidelis Semoso that he finally pushed things cogently forward by organising this conference. We are also glad that the Autonomous Bougainville Government assisted this important act.”
Mr Sturm outlined that he appreciated very much Mr Semoso’s courage to face this sensitive issue without any prejudice or fear. The re-opening of the world class Panguna mine has been scheduled for the end of 2011.
“Next year will already bring giant investment to the island and many people who are jobless now will soon find work,” said Mr Sturm, “this makes me very happy especially for the young generation on Bougainville who will take benefit of the decisions on this historical weekend.”



Source: The National

Row over internet domain name

THE European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper (ESBC) has questioned a move by a Chinese industrial group to acquire “Bougainville copper” as their internet keyword.
Alex Sturm, ESBC president in a statement yesterday, questioned what China’s real intentions on Bougainville are after an email dated Nov 19 requested ESBC verification on the proposed internet keyword.
The email read: “This is a Network Service Co which is the domain name registration center in Hong Kong, China.
“On Nov.16, 2010, we received an application from MEIHUA Group requesting ‘bougainville-copper’ as their internet keyword and China (CN) domain names.
“But after checking, we find this name is in conflict with your company’s name or trademark. In order to deal with this issue better, it’s necessary to send this email to you and confirm with your company whether this company is your distributor or business partner in China. If you did not authorise, please let us know within seven working days, so that we will handle this issue better.”
Sturm had asked why a giant Chinese industrial group was so  interested in acquiring the name of “Bougainville copper” for their own purpose.
“Why are they contacting the European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper and not our company itself or even better, Rio Tinto?
“What are the true intentions of this MEIHUA Group?
 “The European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper had asked these questions to Linda Wang of Hong Kong China Technology Ltd, a domain provider, but did not get any response until now,” he said.
A search on the internet showed that MEIHUA Group is engaged in door manufacturing and in the production of monosodium glutamate, a flavour enhancer, using materials from corn.




Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville


ESBC press release 20101130
What are China's Real Intentions on Bougainville?


On Friday, November 19th, 2010 the following email reached the European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper (ESBC):

" This is a Network Service Company which is the domain name registration center in Hong Kong, China.
On November.16, 2010, we received an application from MEIHUA Group requested "bougainville-copper" as their internet keyword and China (CN) domain names. But after checking ,we find this name is conflict with your company's name or trademark. In order to deal with this issue better, it's necessary to send this email to you and confirm with your company whether this company is your distributor or business partner in China?
If you did not authorize, please let us know within 7 workdays, so that we will handle this issue better. "

Why is a giant Chinese industrial group so much interested in acquiring the name of "Bougainville Copper" for their own purpose? Why are they contacting the European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper and not our company itself or even better:  Rio Tinto? What are the true intentions of this MEIHUA Group?  Many questions…


The European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper asked these questions to Linda Wang from Hong Kong China Technology Ltd, a domain provider, but did not get any response until now.


Source : The National

Bougainville mine ‘to reopen next year’

THE European shareholders of Bougainville Copper (ESBC) have welcomed the breakthrough achieved by the Panguna landowners’ conference in Buka regarding the re-opening of the Panguna mine.
This historical decision was reached on Sunday when landowners agreed to re-open the mine towards the end of next year.
ESBC president Axel Sturm said they were very satisfied with this outcome.
“This gives Bougainville the chance to recover financially from all suffering in the last 20  years.
“I am very grateful to the Minister of Bougainville Affairs Fidelis Semoso that he finally pushed things cogently forward by organising this conference.
“We are also glad that the Autonomous Bougainville Government assisted in this important undertaking,” he said.
Sturm said he appreciated Semoso’s courage to face this sensitive issue “without any fear or prejudice”.
“Next year would bring giant investment to the island and many people who are jobless now would soon find work,” Sturm said.
“This makes me very happy especially for the young generation on Bougainville who would benefit from the decisions on this historic weekend,” he said.



Source: Radio New Dawn on Bougainville

Bougainville copper share price increase
By Reuben Kalaung

Shares in Bougainville Copper have witnessed a dramatic increase by 20 percent in the last 2 trading days.
Australian daily newspaper The Australian and the Wall Street Journal reported the increase in their publication today.
The publications reports, the current copper and gold prices and some foreign players particularly Chinese may have sparked the increase in the share price.
Mine owner Rio Tinto owns 54 percent of the shares, the national government 19 percent and while passive shareholder Vanguard owns 2 million shares at 5 percent.
The closed down Panguna Mine comprise a resource value ofalmost 4 million tonnes of copper and approximately 13 million ounces of gold.
The European Shareholders website ESBC reports 12 billion US dollars as the value of the Panguna Mine.
Mine re-opening and full production will cost a hefty 4 billion US dollars – that’s approximately 12 billion kina.



Source: The National

Euro shareholders want Panguna re-opened

THE European shareholders of Bougainville Copper (ESBC) holding more than 10 million shares of Bougainville Copper Ltd (BCL) are keen to see the reopening of the world-class copper and gold mine.
ESBC has requested Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare’s support in a letter dated Nov 8.
ESBC president Axel G Sturm expressed his strong wish that the re-opening process of the Panguna mine should be speeded up in the interest of the people of Bougainville and Papua New Guinea.
Sturm said  that Panguna “holds the key position for future economic recovery on Bougainville”.
“We strongly believe that you, Sir Michael, are the one who is able to bring this matter to a satisfactory outcome for all.
“You only need to encourage the people of Bougainville to go forward … our board of directors is ready to serve,” he stated in his letter.
Sturm asked Sir Michael to exercise his personal influence and to encourage the people on the ground to take the next step which was the review and the signature of the new Bougainville copper agreement (BCA).
“Bougainville and Bougainville copper are the same in the perception from those outside PNG.
“One goes with the other … as long as there is no satisfying progress in the re-opening of the Panguna mine, there will not be any substantial investment from abroad in Bougainville,” Sturm said.
He said at the end of this week, a huge Panguna conference is fixed to take place in Bougainville.
State Ministers Peter O’Neill (Treasury), Paul Tiensten (National Planning), Arthur Somare (State Enterprise) and Fidelis Semoso (Bougainville) will also attend the conference as almost 40 Panguna landowner representatives.
The meeting is hosted by ABG President John Momis, Vice-President Patrick Nisira and others.
The National has been unable to confirm the attendance of the said State ministers.




Source: Keith Jackson's PNG Attitude Blog


ESBC spins a comeback for B'ville Copper


ESBC spins a comeback for B'ville Copper


THE EUROPEAN Shareholders of Bougainville Copper (ESBC), founded in 2005, are celebrating. For the first time they hold more than 10 million shares in the company.

"We are happy about this but there is absolutely no reason to become arrogant," says ESBC President, Axel G. Sturm. "We only own a 2.5 percent of the whole company!

“But we will continue to offer our experience and influence for a better future on the island of Bougainville."

Over the last two days, a Panguna landowners’ meeting was held in Buka to speed-up the re-opening of the Panguna mine to improve Bougainville’s economy.

PNG’s Minister for Bougainville Affairs, Fidelis Semoso, himself a Bougainvillean, invited the landowners and senior PNG national government ministers including Arthur Somare, Paul Tiensten and Peter O’Neill to the meeting.

While ESBC saw the meeting as an opportunity for itself (“the ESBC appreciate very much Mr Semoso’s move towards a brighter future for all Bougainvilleans,” said Axel G Sturm), Bougainville President John Momis did not attend.

He was on business travel to China with a delegation of members of the Autonomous Bougainville Government.

In a statement from Beijing, Mr Momis said Bougainvilleans should “start thinking of animal husbandry and other agricultural projects” so “fruits and vegetables and potatoes sold to the company can be grown in Bougainville and not imported from outside.”

Meanwhile Axel G Sturm praised Mr Semoso’s initiative. “The first step is always the most difficult one.

“A round-table, as we already claimed a couple of years ago, represents the best instrument to bring the actual situation forward - to a solution from which everybody will benefit in future.”

But whether this benefit will attend to the avid ESBC backing Bougainville Copper to make a return to the island, or whether the Chinese government will emerge on top, is very much an open question.



Source: Post-Courier

MP wants Panguna mine re-opened

Bougainville Affairs MP Fidelis Semoso has met with Panguna landowners (PLA) and others from other Bougainville copper lease areas in Port Moresby.
He reiterated his call to see an impact project get off the ground for Bougainville, a project that will “create employment for our youth, rebuild our schools and health services but most importantly boost the economy of the region”.
He made it clear that he wanted the Panguna mine re-opened at the earliest opportunity.
This means that he wants to see the Bougainville Copper Agreement (BCA) review fast tracked.
He said he is committed to assisting the Panguna landowners get themselves organised.
He has directed Lawrence Daveona to arrange for landowner representatives from each of the six mine lease areas to come to Buka for two days of consultation with him to tell him what they want.
He told the landowners present at the meeting that he does not want to waste time, saying that Panguna landowners’ issues had been there before the crisis and are still there and no one has really attended to them.
With the BCA review, Panguna landowners are the major stake holders.
He maintained that the problem is not the Bougainville people but “us the elected leaders of Bougainville”, both the ABG and the National Government.
Mr Semososaid during his travels throughout the island he has found out that the general feeling is that the Panguna mine must be re-opened and that there is no other way for Bougainville to move forward.
He challenged the landowners to give him tangible project submissions to push through the Government system for funding.
The landowners in turn assured him that he will be getting project submissions soon.



Source: Post-Courier

Bougainville needs own human resources



BOUGAINVILLE needs to prepare itself, especially groom its home-grown human resource to work in the mine if the Panguna copper mine re-opens.
European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper (ESBC), several developing partners and the civil society organisations have raised concerns that Bougainville cannot just sit back and watch outsiders groom themselves for the re-opening of the Bougainville copper mine or any other mining activities in the region.
Developing partners working in the region have also raised the same issue of ABG preparing its human capacity instead of recruiting from outside the expertise like the case when the BCL was in operation, more than 80 per cent employees of the Panguna mine were from all over PNG and abroad.
“ABG cannot pretend that all is well, we all have a duty and role to play in Bougainville, we are here to help and all we need is a concerted effort from everyone. We need to start talking about training human expertise, we need to train our own men and women to prepare them for the re-opening of not necessarily the Bougainville copper mine only, but any mine that will open or any major impact projects in the region,” developing partners raised. That goes to say, we need to set up our own training colleges here, we need to set up more institutions here in Bougainville, we got to move fast.”
ESBC president Axel G. Sturm this week urged both the National Government and ABG to consider the Joint Supervisory Body meeting to be split into two parts - a special JSB dealing only with an extraordinary responsibility of Bougainville Copper Agreement Review and the JSB dealing with all matters other than BCA Review.
“This way the BCA Review will get the focus it deserves,” Mr Sturm said.
Bougainville needs a perfect power team. All political leaders of ABG and PNG were elected in a correct way. But unfortunately there are still some individuals or even small groups who are interested in their own welfare than in public welfare. These persons have difficulty in accepting the outcome of elections and decisions of the majority.”



Source: Post-Courier

Warning on con artists


EUROPEAN shareholders of Bougainville Copper (ESBC) have warned locals in PNG and Bougainville of some European foreigners trying to do business in Bougainville or the Pacific to take heed.
Axel Sturm, president of the ESBC, in a statement, put out a strong warning to alert individuals from Europe trying to do business on Bougainville or other countries in the Pacific region.
This is, he claims, because most of the times these people have doubtful careers and come to small Pacific nations especially places like Bougainville to con people and do business and get away with millions.
Mr Sturm advised the ESBC had carried out a research and found many people are taking advantage of the situation in Bougainville and teaming up with locals to milk them.
He appealed to the people to contact EU offices, the French Embassy, British High Commission and German office in Canberra if in doubt.
“Please be extremely careful if you intend to do any business with persons from Europe. Very often, these persons have an extremely doubtful career at home and only come to small Pacific countries to trick the local people,” he said.
“Do not become a victim of these people without any scruple. Do not be misled by their declarations or the fact that these person keep up good private relations to locals.”



Source: Post-Courier


K10,000 for Bougainville Foundation


THE German president of the European shareholders of Bougainville Copper, Axel G. Sturm, donated K10,000 to the Bougainville Copper Foundation  this week.
Mr Sturm who celebrated his 60th birthday recently in Rome in a statement advised instead of his friends bringing presents to him, he did a fundraiser to raise funds for unfortunate Bougainvilleans.
These funds were disbursed with the hope to help the needy Bougainvilleans who are still suffering - his main agenda is help educating unfortunate students and to better health services in the region.
“When I’ve been to Port Moresby two years ago I met a couple of very well educated Bougainvilleans who are engaged in the island’s future,” Mr Sturm said.
“I also learnt that some of them had received BCF support for education. That’s why I decided to raise funds on my birthday party instead of receiving gifts.
“I am determined to improve the BCF’s charity work on the island with this donation and I strongly hope that others will do the same.” As one of Bougainville Copper’s major shareholders Mr Sturm knows very well that the foundation disposes of little money since the Panguna mine was closed 21 years ago.
“So my dearest wish is that the mine will be re-opened as soon as possible. Under condition that Bougainville Copper Foundation will receive enough money from the company’s earnings to provide much more sustainable services to the people of Bougainville,” Mr Sturm said.
“There is nothing better than to invest into the youths’ education and into health care. I am absolutely convinced that our company secretary Mr Paul Coleman will give the funds to those in Bougainville who are really in a need.”
The Bougainville Copper Foundation has been sponsoring many students of Bougainville into tertiary institutions especially those that come from the mining area.
A lot of elite Bougainvilleans now holding top jobs in the public and private sectors have benefited from this foundation.




Source: Post-Courier


Post-Courier reports on ESBC warning (PDF here)





Source: Global Investors


A Gem In Rio Tinto´s Portfolio


Rio Tinto (RTP) has a majority holding in mining company Bougainville Copper, who owns the now defunct Panguna mine, one of the world´s largest copper reserves. Closed down since 1989, the decision to re-open the mine could now be around the corner.


Bougainville is a small island in the pacific. It is home to the Panguna mine, closed down in 1989 during a civil war. It is key to know that the remaining copper reserves in the ground could be mined for at least another 35 years. This is what has now caught the investor community´s interest.


One mine, several profiteers


Several developments suggest that the decision to re-open the mine could be made before the end of this year. Such a decision would be of great interest to Rio Tinto, who owns 53.8% stake in Bougainville Copper. Approximately 19.1% is owned by the government of Papua New Guinea, whose government also favors the re-opening of the mine. Bougainville´s president, John Momis, agrees. He knows that the re-opening of the mine would create the jobs and the welfare for his island population.


High return on investment


“It is key to know, that apart from Panguna, Bougainville Copper has secured additional mining rights for 7 other areas on Bougainville”, says Axel. G. Sturm, President of the European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper – a representation of investors in BCL, owning over 4% of the company´s shares. Sturm is convinced the company´s future is bright. And justifiably so! In the 80ies, Bougainville Copper had one of the lowest production costs worldwide. Take this and see copper prices significantly higher today and you can imagine the mine´s potential ROI. However, before production can start necessary investments in infrastructure need to be made. “Improving the infrastructure will take 3 to 4 years and will cost around USD 1.5bn,” says Sturm. He believes that the World Bank could play an active role in financing the project.


















Locals warned of foreigners


EUROPEAN shareholders of Bougainville Copper, one of the largest organisations comprising private shareholders of BCL, have issued a stern warning to Papua New Guineans entering into business deals with "questionable" European individuals.

Their warning comes at a time when the Autonomous Region of Bougainville is being flooded with so-called inves­tors from all over the world including Australia, USA, England and Canada who are after all sorts of things worth making money out of.

Many of these investors are entering into joint venture partnerships with the locals to ship out what was leii behind including scrap metal, by Bougainville Copper Limited.

lt is understood that some Canadians are in Panguna teaching Bougainvilleans how to extract gold from waste rock and the Java River.

They expect to be paid back in gold bul­lion for their services and investment on equipment.

The British High Commission in Port Moresby has said that the UK legisla­tion encourages all British companies to operate with integrity and to the high­est international corporate and social standards.

"We continue to work closely with the PNG and Bougainville governments to identify commercial opportunities and attract and maintain quality long term investment partners from the UK,"

British High Commissioner to PNG David Dunn said.

President of ESBC Axel Sturm advised Papua New Guineans and Bougainvilleans to be extremely careful if they intended to do any business with people from Europe.

"Very often these people have an extremely doubtful career at home and only come to small Pacific (Island) coun­tries to trick the local people," Mr Sturm said.

"Do not become a victim of these people without any scruples! Do not be misled by their declarations or ihe fact that these people keep up good private rela­tions to locals. Very often these people only pretend to maintain good world­wide relations to top governmental insti­tutions etc. - in most of these cases this is absolutely false."

He advised potential local partners to be aware that these people would only come to them to steal money.

In case of any doubt please ask the repre­sentatives of the European Community, the French Embassy or the British High Commissioner for help," Mr Sturm said. "They are a12 based in Port Moresby. You can also contact the German Embassy in Canberra; Australia far ref­erences. Especially if you are intending to do any contract with these individu­als: inform yourself on the reputation of your partners in their home countries first. Do protect yourself against fraud," Mr. Sturm said.

The European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper (ESBC)