The government of Bougainville claims it has the “clear moral authority” to decide who might mine the mothballed Panguna mine, not that of Papua New Guinea. Bougainville’s president, John Momis, also appears to discount the return of Rio Tinto to what once were the largest copper-gold operations in the South Pacific. Possible options for any new mine ownership are said to include developers “from Brazil, Venezuela and other South American nations other than Bougainville Copper Ltd”. Last July, a group of Panguna landowners re-asserted demands that Rio Tinto should not be allowed to reclaim the mine it was forced to relinquish at gunpoint in 1998.