A peace settlement in 2001 ended the conflict, arrange the area’s autonomy and paved the best way for Bougainville’s 2019 referendum on its full independence from Papua Guinea. Locals voted overwhelmingly to break free from PNG, however their independence should nonetheless be ratified by the federal government and will take years.
Rio Tinto gave away its stake in 2016, successfully donating the mine. That left the governments of Papua New Guinea and Bougainville with 36.4% every of Bougainville Copper Restricted (BCL).
Hypothesis about the way forward for the idled operation was widespread within the years after the mine closure. Curiosity peaked in late 2017, when an software to restart it was put to a vote, however the venture was placed on the back burner because the outcomes have been nearly evenly break up.
When the Panguna mine was in operations, it was one of many world’s largest, accounting for 44% of PNG’s gross home product.
Estimates from 2020 indicated it might take seven to eight years and $5 billion to $6 billion to rebuild the mine and resume full operations.
It’s believed the mine nonetheless holds about 5.3 million tonnes of copper and 19.3 million ounces of gold.
Bougainville Copper’s inventory closed 128% larger at A$0.80 a share on the ASX, its highest degree since Nov. 1, 2023. The corporate has a market capitalization of A$320.85 million ($212m).