Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 0600 GMT, June 20

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CANBERRA -- Indigenous Australians have joined forces with a Chinese company on a new mining venture off the coast of the Northern Territory (NT).

The Anindilyakwa people of Groote Eylandt, the largest island in the Gulf of Carpentaria off the NT's east coast, have applied for approval to begin exploration drilling for a potential manganese mine on the nearby Winchester Island.(Australia-China-Mining)

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SUVA -- Fijian authorities denied on Thursday that the infectious disease caused the death of U.S. couple on the island nation last month.

"Following an extensive, multi-organisational investigation, the Fijian government has informed the family that an infectious cause of death has officially been ruled out," Fiji's health ministry said in a statement.(Fiji-US-Couple)

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SYDNEY -- The first ever Papua New Guinea-European Union (PNG-EU) Business Conference is underway in PNG's Port Moresby on Thursday, with the South Pacific nation looking to boost trade and investment opportunities between the two sides.

Organized by an EU delegation to PNG, the PNG Business Council and the PNG Investment Promotion Authority (IPA), the one-day meeting is part of PNG Investment Week, which began on Sunday.(PNG-EU-Business)

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WELLINGTON -- Licensed firearms owners will get fair compensation for weapons handed in during the six-month buy-back and amnesty, New Zealand government announced on Thursday.

The fund available for the buy-back and amnesty has also increased by 40 million New Zealand dollars (26 million U.S. dollars) through a contribution from the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), which takes the total allocation for the scheme reach 208 million New Zealand dollars.(NZ-Firearms) Enditem

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