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22 August 2016

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The PNG government under Peter O'Neill said a bigger portion of the shares will be given back to Bougainville. It won't work out.

A similar thing happened to Ok Tedi mining and they are running into a financial crisis to continue operations now.

Study the memorandum of understanding carefully before signing. Bougainvilleans underwent bloodshed to reclaim their land.

Once again, with the caveat that I have never set foot on Bougainville, may I suggest that the quid pro quo of any opening of the Panguna mine by a reputable company would be the chance to prospect the other sections of the mine's surrounds and adjacent areas on the island - the area is supposed to be highly prospective for minerals.

This seems to be standard practice for mining companies. BHP walked away from Ok Tedi after poisoning the Ok Tedi, Ok Mart and Fly Rivers.

There are hundreds of abandoned and un-rehabilitated mines all over Australia where the mining companies have walked away. Most of them are toxic and the clean-up bill, when and if they are ever re-habilitated, is invariably carried by the taxpayer.

And who pays most of Australia's taxes? The little people of course, lower and middle income earners, the big companies employ smart lawyers and accountants so as to avoid paying tax.

Both PNG and Australia have governments that are in the palms of big business. I wouldn't hold my breath about Panguna ever being re-habilitated.

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