Bougainville: Origins of the Conflict, and Debating the Future of Large-Scale Mining (Chapter in "Large-scale Mines and Local-level Politics: Between New Caledonia and Papua New Guinea")

Bougainville: Origins of the Conflict, and Debating the Future of Large-Scale Mining (Chapter in "Large-scale Mines and Local-level Politics: Between New Caledonia and Papua New Guinea")

Source: ANU Press, 2017

Author(s): Anthony J. Regan

Countries: Papua New Guinea

Topics: Conflict Causes, Extractive Resources, Governance, Land

Added: 08/01/2018

 

The 50-year relationship between large-scale mining (LSM) and locallevel politics in Bougainville has been complex and fraught. Bougainville is the only place in the world where host community violence has resulted in the long-term closure of a large-scale mine. Bougainville Copper Ltd (BCL), a subsidiary of Conzinc RioTinto Australia (CRA), operated the huge Panguna copper and gold mine from 1972 to 1989 under a 1967 agreement with the Australian colonial administration of the then Territory of Papua and New Guinea (TPNG). The first large-scale mine in what is now Papua New Guinea (PNG), it closed in 1989, early in a violent conflict that lasted from 1988 to 1997 (Regan 1998, 2011; Braithwaite et al. 2010), and it was still closed in 2016.

 

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