Shares in Bougainville Copper (ASX:BOC) more than doubled on 2 February after the autonomous government of Bougainville granted the company a 5-year exploration licence extension for its flagship Panguna Project.
Panguna, which lies in Central Bougainville, is one of the largest known copper deposits on the planet, according to Bougainville Copper, and the licence extension paves the way for the redevelopment of the project.
Bougainville says in this vein, its planned redevelopment work will begin with advanced-stage pre-feasibility and feasibility exploration activities over the coming years.
The company has been working to get this licence extension across the line for more than half a decade.
Shares in Bougainville Copper closed 128.57% higher at $0.80 on Friday afternoon.
Company Chairman Sir Melchior Togolo says the exploration licence extension is the result of a ‘constructive collaboration, underpinned by mutual respect’ between the copper project developer and the region’s government.
“The Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG), Landowners, and Bougainville Copper have been working on resolving differences since the refusal of EL01 extension in January 2018.
Today marks the successful culmination of these joint efforts. Panguna promises to be a transformative investment for Bougainville that will support greater levels of economic self-reliance for the region.
The company has a well-established presence in Bougainville and has forged strong community relations. This provides a very solid foundation for increased activity as we work with mutual respect towards Panguna’s redevelopment.”
“Panguna promises to be a transformative investment for Bougainville that will support greater levels of economic self-reliance for the region”
According to the company, Bougainville President Ishmael Toroama said on Friday morning that Panguna was a ‘high impact project’ for the region.
Bougainville — the region, not the company — is an autonomous part of Papua New Guinea.
Bougainville Copper is an independently managed company of Papua New Guinea that has been working to resume active copper, gold, and silver mining at Panguna after mining ceased back in 1989.
Former Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Rabbie Namaliu serves on the Bougainville Copper board.
Write to Joshua Smith at Mining.com.au
Images: Bougainville Copper