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High hopes for Bougainville limestone mining

Voters file through a polling booth in Buka town to cast their vote in last year's Bougainville independence referendum. Photo: RNZ Pacific / Johnny Blades. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

PORT MORESBY, Nov 3, 2020, RNZ. The Bougainville President Ishmael Toroama is hoping to re-ignite limestone mining as he continues his push to develop the economy. At the weekend he welcomed a reconciliation in the Eivo-Torau Constituency which he hoped would pave the way for the redevelopment of the defunct Manetai Limestone Project, Radio New Zealand reported.

The president congratulated the people, the landowners and leaders for taking the first necessary step to creating economic opportunities.

He said the people, as the resource owners, must take control of Bougainville’s political destiny through participation in the economic sector.

Toroama said the rights of the people, as resource owners, must come first, meaning the people had to give their consent to any development.

The president also said new land legislation this year would reflect the people of Bougainville’s aspirations as owners of their lands and resources and masters of their own destiny.

As part of President Toroama’s first 100-day Plan, facilitating economic recovery was high on the agenda, including such projects as the Special Economic Zone in Bana district and the Tonolei Project in Buin.

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