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Wicked Schemes

Toroama - ‘We're onto these Aussie conmen'

KEITH JACKSON

panguna_mine_2021
Panguna copper and gold mine, 2021 - the end of the rainbow for Australian (and the world's) con artists

NOOSA - Bougainville president Ishmael Toroama has firmly stated his government will not allow foreign investors on Bougainville to breach its laws to exploit its people and resources.

Toroama made the statement after the Bougainville Executive Council decided to refuse two mineral license applications from the Paruparu Joint Venture, a partnership between Wyndale Holdings and local company Karatapo Resources.

The first application was for a mineral exploration license over the Eivo-Torau area at the northern end of the main island

The second was for an artisanal mining license over the Jaba River middle and lower tailings areas immediately west of Panguna in central Bougainville.

Toroama also announced that the Executive Council had endorsed the decision by mining minister Robin Wilson not to grant an artisanal mining license to the Bakeuroro Joint Venture, a partnership between Wyndale Holdings and local company Bakeuroro Investment along the Java River mid to lower tailings areas.

Wyndale Holdings is a private Australian company with links to Nickolajs Zuks, who claims to have been issued mining licenses by the Autonomous Bougainville Government.

According to a report in the Australian Financial Review in February, the Perth-based Zuks has been bankrupt since February 2021 and owns a 21% stake in Wyndale

Documents supporting the applications outlined the joint ventures’ plans to invest K250 million into the projects over five years.

Toroama said the government’s decisions were based on the applicants failure to meet requirements under the Bougainville Mining Act.

He warned that the government will not deal with companies and individuals who use duplicitous means to exploit Bougainville’s mineral resources.

Toroama further cautioned investors to be wary of being misled by fraudulent people.

Bougainville has become a prime target for frauds and carpetbaggers wanting to make easy dollars from Indigenous people unsuspecting of offering big promises and cheap gifts.

Zuks told the Financial Review that his ‘work’ in Bougainville began in 2016 and “will continue for many years to come”.

“I will continue to look forward to participating in the future success of Wyndale’s Bougainville projects and working closely with its people for a better future,” he said

Sources: PNG Business News, Australian Financial Review

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