The Papua New Guinea MP representing central Bougainville, Jimmy Miningtoro, says the people living near the controversial Panguna mine do not want it to be re-opened.
The Autonomous Bougainville Government has been consulting around the province about a possible re-opening since the beginning of the year but talks planned last week in the Panguna district were derailed by former combatants.
Mr Miningtoro says this is an indication the people don’t want mining.
“The way things are going now it seems that a lot of people on the ground, they don’t support mining. That is the truth that I am getting out from the people. And also especially people who live along the Jaba River where once when Bougainville Copper was operating the company has dumped all the waste down through the Jaba system.”
Jimmy Miningtoro says the Autonomous Bougainville Government should instead emphasize agriculture, starting with copra and cocoa, developing its small remnants of coffee and looking to new crops.