By Ephraim Eminoni, BCL’s Manager Bougainville
There is good reason for us to be optimistic about Bougainville’s future.
I have joined Bougainville Copper after several years working in other community service roles.
I love working with people and this remains an important part of my position as we take steps towards the possibility of a new Panguna mining project, with the all-important backing of the Bougainville people.
We have been building our presence in Bougainville under our community engagement program.
Among our priorities over the next 12 months is to build community awareness and understanding of our project development plans.
This requires us to work closely with many different people and groups; to provide all the necessary information, to answer all the questions and when required, work together to resolve issues.
We will also require community support to carry out necessary studies and assessments in project areas.
BCL established an office at Buka Town back in June and from here we manage and coordinate our activities in relation to the Panguna project.
We are also in the process of fitting out a larger office to better accommodate our needs.
We have a small but energetic local team, including important representation in the Panguna area and we will recruit further as the need arises. As the project progresses we will open an office in Arawa or Panguna itself.
Having a presence in Buka has helped us to significantly strengthen our relationships with key stakeholders, including the Autonomous Bougainville Government and resource owners, along with the general public.
Our office provides a convenient point of contact for anyone interested in what we are doing.