Bougainville Copper Limited is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr James Rutana and Mr Kearnneth Nanei to the company’s board of directors.

James Rutana

Mr Rutana is a well-respected Bougainvillean businessman and entrepreneur from North Nasioi, Kieta who has studied microeconomics and international commodity trading in London. He is committed to Bougainville’s economic development particularly in sustainable agriculture, and has operated several successful local businesses.

Mr Rutana is considered a pioneer in cocoa farming and exporting in PNG and Bougainville. He was instrumental in the establishment of the PNG Cocoa Board and served as founding chairman, as well as the establishment of the PNG Cocoa and Coconut Research Institute, where he served as chairman for 10 years.

Mr Rutana was appointed a Commissioner of the Bougainville Constitutional Commission and was involved in the drafting of Bougainville Constitution in 2002 during that important phase in the establishment of the Autonomous Bougainville Government.

Kearnneth Nanei

Mr Nanei is a highly regarded legal professional graduating from the University of Papua New Guinea. He commenced his career in private practice before his appointment as Secretary and Principal Legal Adviser for the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) Department of Justice and Legal Services in 2010.

Mr Nanei had extensive involvement in the development of the Bougainville Mining Act 2015, inclusive of community consultations, membership of technical working groups, and advising the mining minister and the ABG executive council.

He has also advised the government on autonomy arrangements and preparations and is a current member of the ABG and PNG national government Joint Supervisory Body technical team, the Bougainville Referendum Committee and the Bougainville Mining Advisory Council. He is also a director of Bougainville Minerals Limited and the Bougainville Public Investment Corporation.

Mr Rutana and Mr Nanei add further depth and experience to the board and bring significant local knowledge and perspective. Both were nominated as Directors by the ABG, which is a major shareholder (36.4 per cent) in BCL, and after appropriate due diligence, the directors have appointed them to the board.

Bougainville Copper chairman Sir Mel Togolo said “We are delighted that James and Kearnneth have agreed to join the board with their 40-plus years of combined experience in Bougainville across business and government which includes, invaluable constitutional and legislative expertise.

“We are particularly pleased to have been able to engage so constructively with the ABG with regard to their candidate nominations,” Mr Togolo said.

Pictured: Bougainville Copper Directors L-R David Osikore, Sir Moi Avei, Kearnneth Nanei, Sir Melchior Togolo, James Rutana and Mark Hitchcock