The potential of the people, natural beauty, agriculture, fisheries and minerals are all part of the treasure trove that is Bougainville!



The Autonomous Region of Bougainville (AROB) is Located at the northern tip of the Solomon Islands Archipelago. The main islands of Bougainville and Buka as well as 166 smaller islands and atolls are home to approximately 300,000 (est.) Bougainvilleans and have a land area of 9,300 square kilometres. The culture is predominantly Melanesian.


Bougainville has more than 20 different languages that can be as diverse as Arabic from English. Tok Pisin is the lingua franca for communication amongst Bougainvilleans not from the same clan or region. Tok Ples (talk place) is the name for local language and often clans that may reside across a valley from one another speak tok ples so different that they can’t understand each other.

Bougainville Island has a mountainous spine running from north west to south east including active volcanoes inland and fringing coral reefs and limestone formations on the coast. Buka Island is less mountainous and is also fringed by coral reefs with limestone, sandstone and volcanic sediments at its centre.


The seat of government is Buka Town but has previously been at nearby Sohano Island and in Arawa/Kieta. While geographically part of the Solomon Islands, Bougainville is currently an autonomous region of Papua New Guinea. See for more government information including the Constitution, and Bougainville Peace Agreement. Current ABG legislation including the mining act can be found here:

Local Meri (woman) with her lik lik pikinini (small child) in a cacao plantation

Bougainville suffered through an internal conflict, also called the Bougainville crisis or civil war, from 1989 to 2000 where local landowners under the banner of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army and fought against the PNG Defence Force resulting in an estimated 15,000 deaths. A significant proportion of the deaths stemmed from the effects of a blockade on the islands preventing medical treatment and various other services being provided.

Locally this time period is known as the Bougainville Crisis (The Crisis). The root cause of the crisis has been mainly attributed to disproportional sharing of benefits from the Panguna Mine and associated environmental impacts, as well as the failure of numerous, populist seccession attempts, put down by the National Government of the day.

Following the crisis a New Zealand brokered Peace Agreement was signed in 2001 and peace keeping forces were stationed on the islands. New Zealand still plays a large part in the training and advising of local police officers.

Bougainville is easily accessed by air from Port Moresby with flights daily by Air Niugini to Buka. PNG Air also flies to Kieta (adjacent to Arawa) daily. An overnight ferry from Port Moresby is also available.

The main industries currently in Bougainville are agriculture (copra and cocoa/cacao) with some tourism, retail and services. Approximately 95% of the population live a subsistence life in rural areas. Payment options are restricted mainly to cash however some larger businesses in Buka, Arawa and Buin have creditcard or credit/account facilities. Bank of South Pacific (BSP) is currently the only operating bank on Bougainville but there are rumours of ANZ Bank coming to Bougainville.

Mining in Bougainville:

A long history of mining exists with alluvial gold mined continuously for more than 100 years, gold and copper mined during German colonial administration as well as the largest operating copper and gold porphyry mine of its day in Panguna.

Key to the ability of the ABG to function as an independent state is the economic viability of AROB.

Panguna operated for 17 years from 1972 to 1989. At closure/ abandonment the pit was 400m deep with ~90 Mtpa of ore and waste being mined. Mill throughput was ~48 Mtpa with a grade 0.41 % copper (“Cu”) and 0.41 grams per tonne gold (“g/t A u”), producing around 550,000 tonnes per annum ( “tpa”) of concentrate grading 30% Cu and 25g/t Au containing around 170,000 tonnes (“t”) of copper and 450,000 ounces (“ozs”) of gold. The annual production value in 21 September 2017 terms US$1.732Bn (Cu US$1.14Bn / Au US$0.59Bn)

It is obvious, that with the potential to re-establish Panguna operations and the additional potential in a largely unexplored mineral rich environment, mining activity could provide the fiscal independence the fledgling State aims for.

The Peace Agreement of 2001 and Constitution of 2004 provides the ABG with the authority to manage the mineral wealth of AROB. The ABG passed the 2015 Mining Act which differs fundamentally from that of Papua New Guinea because it recognises that indigenous landowners own all minerals beneath the surface. In short, without landowner approval exploration or mining rights will not be granted. With roughly 97% of the land being customary land, not government or privately owned, this is a key differentiator and element of any application for an Exploration or Mining Licence and essential to the success of any mining related venture in Bougainville.

Land is central to local custom and social relationships where a variety of use rights are inherited through birth, death and marriage and maintained by customary obligations. The key to access is relationships with the landowners and the Incorporated Land Groups that are the legal mechanism to gain use rights to land which protect the interests of the traditional landowners and the interests of the lessee.

Kalia two exploration licences (EL03 and EL04) held jointly with an incorporated landowner group, Toremana Resources Limited, for the lease of the Exploration License areas in the Mt Tore region, Granted on the 15th of November 2017.

Bougainville is one of the last undeveloped mineralised regions in the world that has the recognised potential to have world-class ‘elephant’ deposits hosted in highly prospective epithermal, porphyry and massive volcanic sulphides geological setting. For more project specific information please view the tenement areas under ‘Projects’.

The strong government support for exploration and mining to re-commence immediately, clearly articulated in public statements by the President and Vice-President of the ABG and other Ministers and Officials; allied to the support of Kalia’s landowner partners, places Kalia in a favourable position to discover and bring Bougainville’s next big discovery to market!