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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 Cooper to make a return to the island, or whether the Chinese government will emerge on top, is very much an open question

Spotter: Kevin Johnson


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Peter Fuggi

Has the peace process failed? From New Dawn FM, Bougainville [10 November 2010]: 'Civilian shot'

"An attack on a group of 14 men yesterday morning near the Loluai Bridge has left a man hospitalised. The attack was believed to be carried out by rebel fractions in the Konnou constituency.

"The victim, a man from Oria was shot in the back of the right arm and is currently at the Buka General Hospital.
The group was carrying sago leaves for the construction of a new police post in Oria.

"Chief Inspector for Buka Police Huitona Tohua condemned the shooting saying that such actions were slowing the peace progress in Bougainville.

"He also says that plans for the construction of a police station in Oria were in place awaiting funding assistance from the ABG.

"Chief Inspector Tohua says that police are working together with the people of the Konnou constituency to try and bring peace between warring rebel fractions in the area.

The answer to the question is, no, the peace process has not failed. It continues despite occasional incidents such as this - KJ

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