Some women leaders were adamant that the reopening of Bougainville’s troubled, but lucrative, Panguna copper mine holds the key to future economic development. With an independence referendum on the horizon, reopening the Panguna mine offers both attractive opportunities and terrible consequences", 22 … “This is the first holistic offer, which has come from China,” he said. The Bougainville government is having consultations on a regular basis with Bougainville Copper Limited about a possible re-opening of the Panguna mine. Just this month, Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL), former operator of Panguna Copper Mine on Bougainville, … Disclaimer: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre and its collaborative partners take no position on the diverse views presented in linked material within the database, nor can we guarantee the factual accuracy of all the articles and reports we make available. 2011. Read more "Will Bougainville Reopen the Panguna Mine? The appearance of such links does not constitute endorsement of the websites they lead to or the information contained therein, over which we exercise no editorial control. The Panguna mine on the Pacific island of Bougainville is one of the largest copper and gold deposits in the world. It was the embossment of a well glossed imprint that was too good to be rejected. By Dansi Oerupeu Contrary to authority’s claim of common support, the opposition against the Panguna Mine reopening is more apparent then ever. For one thing, reopening the mine would be disrespectful to those who perished in the civil war. The Bougainville referendum vote is on course and set for this time next year but the future of the abandoned Panguna Copper Mine is still untenable. Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL), under a new regime, is keen on re-opening the Panguna mine with promises of more equitable sharing of wealth with landowners and the Autonomous Bougainville Government, reports the Post Courier. Amid COVID-19, Pakistani journalists are looking for training to help them counter misinformation and stay safe while reporting. When that failed to crush the resistance, PNG, with the support of Australia, enforced a naval blockade cutting the island off from the rest of the world. The Jubilee Report claims that the voices of mine-affected communities ‘have been distant from recent public discussion’ about the possible reopening of the mine, closed since 1989 as a result of the Bougainville … Prosecutors investigated whether Abe, his aide and two executives from his political support group had subsidized the party fees in violation of campaign and election funds laws. No matter the results of the referendum, any company looking to make a buck is sure to find opposition in Panguna. In September, along with several other high-profile Australian business chiefs, Forrest was invited to U.S. President Donald Trump’s state dinner hosting Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Alongside its core work providing a platform for Human Rights advocates, the Resource Centre runs several focused programme areas and regularly releases briefings and reports on areas of particular interest. People in Panguna, especially the women folk, who have been subtly crying against the move, are now coming out strongly and using stringent measures to stop any attempt by ABG, PLA or BCL to reopen the mine. The plaintiff’s lawyers claimed the mine’s manager in Bougainville at the time “encouraged the continuation of the blockade for the purposes of starving the bastards out.”. The ABG owns a 36.4% share in BCL, and has consistently said reopening Panguna was essential for the island’s economic self-sufficiency if it … All such elements of the reopening require feasibility studies, says Taylor. The mine was also at the center of a decade-long civil war fought between the Bougainville Revolutionary Army and the Papua New Guinea Defense Force in the 1990s. References Healy, J. India’s foreign trade policy must be aligned to its self-reliance goals. June 24, 2018. By Dr Kristian Lasslett*| 19 April 2017. The Sydney Morning Herald reported in 2002 that the mine was pumping 110 million cubic meters of waste, contaminated with cyanide and other chemicals, into the sea each year. Panguna landowners accused the company of genocide, citing the company’s support for the blockade of the island by PNG forces. In September, along with several other high-profile Australian business chiefs. So, too, has the Australian government. In a public presentation to ward councillors and MPs, filmed by a crew from. The Sandline affair, as it came to be known, was eventually leaked in the Australian media – first there was a public outrage, and then came the resignation of then-PNG Prime Minister Julius Chan. Sam Kauona, a former Bougainville Revolutionary Army general, unfurled a large map of Bougainville with Chinese script highlighting proposed bridges, highways, ports, airports, and luxury hotels. The Government of PNG followed Rio Tinto’s instructions and carried out its’ requests,” he wrote. 1096664 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in USA. With the independence referendum beginning on Saturday, many local leaders admit that they would like to see the mine reopen as a way to boost revenue, yet distrust of giving a foreign mining company access again still looms large. For years, the Bougainville government has asked the company to make contributions to help with the clean up. The conflict officially ended nine years later, but Rio Tinto never returned. Explore the big challenges, opportunities, debates and frameworks for business and human rights. What does the US election result mean for anti-money laundering efforts? Weekly Update 16 December: Dismissals & owed wages of Philippines fashion workers lead to protests, Chinese Responsible Investment Overseas Newsletter Issue 12, December 2020, Human rights due diligence within the tech sector: Developments and challenges. BCL supplied helicopters, which were used as gunships, the pilots, troop transportation, fuel and troop barracks.”. With the independence referendum beginning on Saturday, many local leaders admit that they would like to see the mine reopen as a way to boost revenue, yet distrust of giving a foreign mining company access again still looms large. Bougainville's gold mine sparked a war that killed 20,000 - now it could be reopened. affected by the Panguna Mine have joined in condeming the “seemingly shallow” report by NGO Jubilee Australia. In January 2018, the autonomous Bougainville government introduced a moratorium on mining at the Panguna mine, which had been at the heart of the secessionist … About Its main areas of operation are in Western Australia, but in recent years the company has increased its efforts abroad, especially in South America, where it was granted 32 exploration licenses in Ecuador alone. Find out more about our impact, who we are and how we are funded. When that, too, failed the government hired a U.K.-based private military company to carry out its operations in Bougainville. An ongoing independence referendum does not address the key question at the root of the conflict: the future of the Panguna mine. Bougainville Copper's efforts to bring the past-producing Panguna mine back online is again in jeopardy over hasty moves by the Autonomous Bougainville government to make changes to the mining laws. Bougainville Copper Limited, (BCL) a subsidiary of the British-Australian resources giant Rio Tinto, owned the mine at the time of the conflict and despite extracting around 550,000 tonnes of copper concentrate and 450,000 ounces of gold in its final year of production was forced to close as it appeared the separatists were not going to back down. The Panguna reopening was the project that was dubbed to make Bougainville self-reliant and ultimately bring it to independence. Paving the Way: The Pioneering Role of the French Duty of Vigilance Law and its Relevance for EU-Level Mandatory Due Diligence, Security issues & conflict zones: General. The unprecedented designation threatens to generate frictions with an important U.S. partner in Southeast Asia. "The Internet and social media’s arrival in the region have led to unprecedented levels of grassroots activism across societies.". As Bougainville Revolutionary Army leader Francis Ona once said, “Land to us is our lifeline, and we cannot be separated from it.”. In response, Papua New Guinea (PNG) sent in the military. This is, as long as past mistakes are not forgotten. An autonomous region in Papua New Guinea, Bougainville is aiming for independence and elected a president who shares that ambition. Company chairman Robert Burns was in Buka last week and met with Bougainville cabinet … But it also needs to work towards making domestic industries competitive. Papua New Guinea is setting up a review into whether the giant Panguna copper mine can be reopened after it was shut down … Seoul has hesitated to tighten restrictions thus far, even as health authorities predict the number of daily cases might top 1,000. The conflict cost as many as 15,000 lives and displaced 40,000 of the island’s 200,000 inhabitants. Every foreigner that enters Panguna with mine re-opening interests chats with crisis-created elite or the members of the Panguna Landowners Association (many of whom are BCL’s old ‘local friends’) and then return to spill their bias in-house chit-chat to the media as a break-through towards the re-opening of the Panguna mine. “BCL was also directly involved in the military operations on Bougainville, and it played an active role. Bougainville Copper Limited is back in the headlines. Due to the unrest in the area in the years that followed Rio Tinto’s withdrawal, no official investigation has been conducted on the impact the mining operation has had on the surrounding environment. Recently, the battle for Panguna entered new territory when rumors emerged of a Chinese delegation having offered $1 billion to fund the transition to Bougainville independence along with offers to invest in mining, tourism, and agriculture. Get briefed on the story of the week, and developing stories to watch across the Asia-Pacific. It is known, however, that around 300,000 tonnes of ore and water were excavated every day in Panguna and that the mine tailings were discharged down the principal river system, the Kawerong-Jaba, which now flows blue because of toxic mixtures of heavy metals and other chemicals. Looking beyond Panguna – A post-2020 strategy for Bougainville. Forrest has friends in high places. Earlier this year I met representatives from Fortescue mining, but I have been waiting 10 months for them to make a commitment.”. With the independence referendum...many local leaders admit that they would like to see the mine reopen as a way to boost revenue, yet distrust of giving a foreign mining company access again still looms large. The. The hearing will help determine if the company Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL), which was forced to abandon the Panguna mine in 1989, should retain an exploration licence for the site. "Will Bougainville Reopen the Panguna Mine? Will the Biden administration finally end the U.S. presence in Afghanistan? The UAE has officially approved a Sinopharm vaccine, while there are promising unofficial results from Sinovac’s Indonesia trial. Just $5 a month. In a public presentation to ward councillors and MPs, filmed by a crew from 60 Minutes, Sam Kauona, a former Bougainville Revolutionary Army general, unfurled a large map of Bougainville with Chinese script highlighting proposed bridges, highways, ports, airports, and luxury hotels. “Because of Rio Tinto’s financial influence in PNG, the company controlled the Government. Author: Angela East, Stockhead. It’s been almost 10 years since the prospect of reopening the Panguna gold and copper mine was first raised. South Korea's government is banking on AI as part of its post-COVID recovery. It has also asked Australia, as the former colonial power responsible for authorizing the mine. Author Notes Kylie McKenna is a research fellow with SSGM, and is the author of Corporate Social Responsibility and Natural Resource Conflict (Routledge, in press). Former PNG Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare provided the court with a sworn affidavit stating that it was Rio Tinto calling the shots during the war. The Panguna mine on the Pacific island of Bougainville is one of the largest copper and gold deposits in the world. Jaintong's grandchildren are part of Arawa's booming population and reopening the Panguna mine is seen by many as a controversial choice but a vital one for the economic future. The meeting resolved that the BRA become a stakeholder in the Panguna Mine reopening and any other economic activities in and around Bougainville and name be changed when legal arrangements are in place. 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