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Friday, 6 April 2012

Who owns the Bougainville Copper Limited?

In the many Bougainvillean societies a 'name' is pride and heritage. But in our world of Western hegemonism, a name is a symbolicism of exploitation and relegation. This is what, the name 'Bougainville Copper Limited' did to the natives; it kept them dancing in pride of a great and rich 'house boy' province of Papua New Guinea. Fuck!

Panguna created wasteland of Tumpusiong

BCL is a public company. By share, it is owned by CRA with 53.6 % and her 'lover girl', the PNG government owns 19.1% and the rest goes to the public shareholders, 27.3%.


Shareholders as at 14 February 1996:

Name                                             Share                                              % Share
CRA Limited                              214 887 966                                        53.58
PNG                                           76 430 809                                           19.01
ANZ Nominees                          27 430 362                                            6.87
Citicorp Nominees                     24 508 958                                            6.11
Westpac Custodian                     7 660 065                                             1.91
National Nominees                    6 678 748                                             1.67
Westpac Custodian [2]              5 431 550                                              1.35
BCF                                            3 600 000                                              0.90
MLC Life Ltd                              3 419 868                                              0.85
S.S & S.A Superannuation          2 561 500                                             0.42
State A. Superannuation              1 680 300                                              0.42
Chase Manhattan Nominees         1 222 413                                             0.30
James West (NZ)                          1 141 200                                             0.28
Barclays Australia                       1 059 315                                             0.26
Lawrence Neville Lancelot          897 000                                                0.22
Franz Heinrich Rast                     612 986                                                0.15
Ernold Holdings                           411 600                                                0.10
Victoria Workcover                      379 600                                               0.09
Perpetual Trustee                          347 653                                               0.09
Victorian Superannuation              313 400                                              0.08

  • State Services & Statutory authority (PNG)
  • BCF- Bougainville Copper Foundation


On the 15 May 1989, BCL's mine at Panguna was shut down up until now.

Since inception until cessation of operations, BCL produced concentrate containing 3 million tonnes of copper, 306 tonnes of gold and 784 tonnes of silver. This production had a value of K5.2 billion which represented 44% of PNG exports through that period.

The total of K1 086 million was contributed to PNG which represents 62% of the net cash generated by the project.

Further more, company training programs for some 12 000 employees, included about 1 000 completing full trade apprenticeship and some 400 completing graduate and postgraduate studies.

To this 'wolf under sheep coating' project, one as to ask: did Bougainvilleans benefit? If they did, why then was the Bougainville crisis then took away the lives 15 000 of would-be innocent people?

In the video documentary film, Bougainville Our Island Our Fight, the then 1970 Minister for Australian Territories, Hon. Mr Barns proudly says, '...our obligation is to built a standard of living up for the whole territory...' and mining was the only means available.

CRA and Australian government's duty then was to turn Bougainville into a 'most developed westernized area in the South Pacific'.

To them, Bougainville was the source of finance to built their buffer state, Papua New Guinea. Bougainville were not culturally and geographically New Guineans, so being a margenalized islanders, the cost was not that problematic.

Bougainvilleans owned nothing and had no say in the Bougainville Copper Agreement. For as can be seen here, 'the biggest share of revenue from BCL operation in the 17 years of operation (1972-1989) went to BCL and the PNG government. Bougainville (North Solomons Province) received 4% and the Landowners in the lease areas had 0.02%' (

You could say, Bougainville was PNG thus it directly benefited, but that's not the fact. All government budgetary allocation of funding depends on population. From this scene you work out: according to the 2000 national PNG census, Bougainville had 175 160 people and the total PNG populace is 5 651 870, this can be translated automatically to Bougainville receiving less than PNG.

Things turn complicated when the resource is own by Bougainvilleans who are not New Guineans. Yet Bougainvillean have absolutely no legal say or share in the development that was destroying our land and culture.

...Only through independence, all these mines will be under control...

the late Francis Ona said.

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