CANADIAN petroleum company Morumbi Oil and Gas has entered an agreement to develop oil and with Bougainvillean landowner company Isina Holding Ltd, The National reports.
In a statement released at its website, Morumbi said its wholly-owned subsidiary Isina Mining & Development has executed a letter of intent (LOI) to become the development partners of choice of Isina Holding on the mineral rich island of Bougainville.
Isina Holding is a landowner company represented by 15 villages over traditional land on the island.
According a statement on Tuesday, it is the first time in the history of Bougainville that an area recently aggressively opposed to mineral explorations, had formed its own development company and invited a foreign partner to jointly explore and develop mineral resources located on their traditional land.
The company’s chairman Stephen Shefsky and chief executive officer Mark Brennan participated in the signing ceremony which took place at Tunania village on the Isina Lands on the east coast of Central Bougainville.
The current LOI covers about 5,000ha that extends from east coast up over and beyond the Crown Prince Range.
Bougainville, although long regarded as having great gold and copper potential based on early works done by German explorers, has a unique history with respect to mining in that no exploration has been carried out since the 1906s.
Morumbi said satellite imagery, together with results of a German government sponsored Aeromag geochemical survey over Bougainville carried out by the federal institute of geosciences and natural science in Hannover, Germany, and published in 1990, together with the 2007 discovery of extensive alluvial fields in the creeks and river of Isina that were now being worked by villagers, singled out this area for high-priority exploration programmes for gold and copper epithermal and porphyry deposits.
Under the term of the LOI, IMD paid K10,000 on execution and has agreed to pay a fursther K3,000 per month to Isina Holdings help fund certain programmes.