But any decision on whether the mine will be redeveloped is at least three years away and depends on findings from environmental, social and pre-feasibility studies.
According to BCL’s 2013 Order of Magnitude (OOM) Study, a range of infrastructure upgrades are needed to service a workforce employed at Panguna, the wider community and the operations of the mine itself.
One issue that will be addressed is the erratic nature of the power supply in Central Bougainville.
The OOM study also suggested that education will be prioritised with upgrades to primary and secondary school facilities as well as the creation of a mine training college so that qualified employees can be sourced locally.
Arawa town will benefit from an upgrade to its commercial centre and recreational facilities.
An operational mine will also require improvements to port, airport and waste management facilities and emergency services.
The first steps toward achieving these outcomes will be the customary process of belkol (compensation and reconciliation) and the completion of environmental, social and economic baseline studies.
These milestones are being considered by the Joint Panguna Negotiation Coordination Committee, comprised of representatives of landowners in mine affected areas, the Autonomous Bougainville Government, the Government of Papua New Guinea and BCL.
BCL have looked to landowners to lead discussions to ensure that any future operation at Panguna has their backing.