Saw the following article in the Courier Mail the other day, more progress on the Panguna front?
Courier Mail (Brisbane)
Mine of information
UNBEKNOWN to the rest of the
world, there was a very high-level visit
to the ramshackle Panguna Mine in
Bougainville in Papua New Guinea
Outside of Escondida and Grasberg,
Panguna remains the largest copper
ore body in the Pacific region. It has
been closed since 1987 following a
landowner uprising which led to civil
war on the rich PNG island.
The mine once accounted for more
than half of PNG's GDP, the other half
being Australian aid.
Our spies report that a Rio director
was accompanied by Bougainville
Copper Ltd managing director Peter
Taylor and a senior member of
AusAid, in a two-day, low-key inspection
of the mine.
People that know about such matters
reckon it would cost a cool
$A3 billion to get the mine back to full
production but in Rio, or BHP terms,
that's small change.
Rio has managed to hold on to its
controlling 67 per cent interest in
Bougainville Copper despite several
unreported bids by Chinese interests
to garner ownership of the massiveporphyry copper/gold ore body.