RTG Mining has upped its interest in a consortium that owns the minerals within the massive Panguna copper and gold mine in Bougainville.

Investors applauded the move, driving the shares up 30 per cent to 36.5c in Friday lunchtime trade.

RTG shares have almost tripled in the past month since it got the green light from Bougainville locals to start work on the copper and gold mine.

RTG shares over the past month. Source: Investing.com
RTG shares over the past month. Source: Investing.com

Under the new deal, RTG (ASX:RTG) will own 24 per cent of Central Exploration Pty Ltd, which is working with the local landowner group to secure an exploration licence over the 1.5 billion tonne Panguna mine.

The mine was once being developed by Rio Tinto subsidiary Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL), but a civil war and disputes between regional residents and explorers forced the company to abandon the project.

One of the company’s major shareholders also has a 32 per cent stake in Central Exploration.