New legislation strips rights from Rio Tinto's subsidiary Bougainville Copper | Pacific Beat

New legislation strips rights from Rio Tinto's subsidiary Bougainville Copper

New legislation strips rights from Rio Tinto's subsidiary Bougainville Copper

Updated 12 August 2014, 8:12 AEST

Bougainville President John Momis says his new Mining Act, passed on Friday, strips significant rights from the Rio Tinto subsidiary Bougainville Copper Limited, but he is still facing stiff criticism from grassroots organisations.

The main aim of the legislation is to transfer powers over mining from the Papua New Guinea government to the local legislature.

But many people on the island fear it gives too much power to Bougainville Copper, the company that ran the Panguna copper mine that sparked the civil war in the 1990's.

Philip Miriori, Chairman of the Me'ekamui Government of Unity, a rebel group based near the mine site, says the legislation is dangerous and potentially destabilising.

The Panguna Veterans Association says it will lay the foundations for a repeat of the crisis which left thousands dead.

Bougainville's President John Momis says the critics have got it wrong.

He told Jemima Garrett the new mining legislation strips away most of Bougainville Copper's rights and has wider significance as well.

Presenter: Jemima Garrett

Speaker: John Momis, Bougainville President

Contributors

Contact the studio

Got something to say about what you're hearing on the radio right now?

Text/SMS
Send your texts to +61 427 72 72 72

Tweets
Add the hashtag #raonair to add your tweets to the conversation.

Email
Email us your thoughts on an issue. Messages may be used on air.