Bougainville Copper appoints CEO and CFO

11th March 2024 By: Mariaan Webb - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

Bougainville Copper (BOC), the company which is seeking to reopen the Panguna mine in the South Pacific, has announced the appointment of David Osikore as MD and CEO and Johnny Patterson Auna as CFO and company secretary.

The appointments follow the significant progress BOC had made over the past five months in preparing transition from a caretaker mode into a more operational exploration phase.

In October, BOC announced that it had reached an agreement with the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) on terms for a deed of settlement to end the juridical review proceedings related to the EL01 exploration licence in the Panguna project area.

In February, the company was granted a five-year extension of the EL01 exploration licence, paving the way for redevelopment.  

BOC noted that Osikore had served on its board as an independent director since 2019 and that he had more than 30 years’ experience in the exploration and mining industries in both Papua New Guinea and Australia.

Patterson Auna also has more than 30 years’ experience in various senior executive roles in Papua New Guinea and Australia.

“BOC is well prepared to successfully transition from the caretaker mode it was in while tenure issues were being resolved, to now actively drive the development work necessary to bring Panguna back to operation,” the company said in a statement.

BOC added that the Papua New Guinea government was committed to transfer its 36.2% interest in the mining company’s shares to the ABG and people of Boungainville. This will mean that, for the first time in BOC’s 55-year history, the company will be majority owned by the government and people of Bougainville.

Panguna, formerly operated by Rio Tinto Group, shut in 1989 after local protests over mine revenue degenerated into a civil war that killed as many as 20 000 people.