The panel of speakers with PNG CORE president Anthony Smaré at the “Lessons from Closure – Panguna” session, at CANCONEX 2023.

Efforts by stakeholders of the Panguna Mine will once again be in the spotlight, at the inaugural PNG Resources Week. This will see landowner representatives, the Autonomous Bougainville Government, and other agencies come together to highlight progress made over the last 12 months, for this key economic project for the country’s Autonomous Region.

The Panguna – Lessons and Eye to the Future session, which will be held on day two of PNG Resources Week, will be chaired by PNG Chamber of Resources & Energy (PNG CORE) President Mr. Anthony Smaré.

In announcing this session, President Smaré reaffirmed the importance of learning from the Panguna experience.

ABG Minister for Community Government and Member for Ioro Constituency Hon. Theonila Roka Matbob speaking at CANCONEX 2023.

“The story of Panguna is critically important for our nation. Panguna itself provided the financial foundation for Papua New Guinea’s independence in 1975, and contributed immensely to the development of communities in Panguna, Bougainville, and in wider Papua New Guinea.”

“Whilst this project provided the necessary support to PNG, perceptions of unfair distribution of opportunities, especially from Landowners, formed the basis of events leading up to the forced shutdown of this project, triggering a decade-long conflict on the island, and the loss of many lives.”

“CANCONEX 2023 provided the very first opportunity for all stakeholders in the Panguna issue to come together, and speak openly about their challenges, and their willingness to work together, for the greater benefit of Bougainville.”

“The Lessons from Closure session featuring Panguna was well received from all who attended, and this also provided the catalyst for significant progress to be made.”

“In January this year the ABG granted a 5-year exploration licence (EL01) over the former Panguna mine area to Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL). This has now allowed the company to undertake renewed Pre-Feasibility Studies (PFS) and Feasibility Studies (FS) before applying for an actual development licence. On the Community Affairs front, the Panguna Landowners Interim Council (PLIC) has been established as an interim body to represent the landowners.”

“All this progress a direct result of CANCONEX 2023.”

“In addition to our esteemed speakers representing landowners, and key community groups, the President of Autonomous Region of Bougainville Hon. Ishmael Toroama, who is also ABG Minister Mineral and Energy, has been officially invited, and will provide some insights into progress made.”

“Given the importance of the subject matter, it will be longest single session at CANCONEX24. The insights provided by our speakers from Panguna will be critical for our landowners, and our leaders from across Papua New Guinea.”

“This is a must attend for landowners from resource project areas, as well as our national leaders. Register today to be a part of these important discussions.”

PNG Resources Week will bring all stakeholders together in PNG in a series of events from 1 to 4 July 2024;

• the second PNG National Community Affairs and National Content Conference & Expo (CANCONEX) to be held over 3 days 1 – 3 July,
• a PNG Resources Career Fair 3 – 4 July,
• the inaugural PNG Resources Summit 4 July, and
• the Resources Week Dinner 4 July

Information on how to register can be found at and also via email at

Project endorsed landowners will be entitled to a 25% discount on registration fees for CANCONEX 2024.

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