bougainville copper mine history

Panguna represents one of the largest copper reserves in Papua New Guinea and in the world, having an estimated reserve of 1 billion tonnes of ore copper and 12 million ounces of gold. Mining operations were officially halted on 15 May 1989, due to militant activity and the mine has remained closed since. Perhaps the strongest factor in entrenching this Bougainvillean identity, however, was the establishment of the Panguna copper and gold mine near Arawa in the 1960s and early 1970s during the period of Australian colonial administration. Up to 20,000 people, or 10% of the population at the time, lost their lives. The Bougainville civil war raged for a decade after indigenous landowners, incensed by environmental devastation and inequities associated with the Rio Tinto majority-owned Panguna copper mine, waged an armed campaign to shut the mine down. T [7], A referendum on Bougainville's independence must be held no later than June 2020 under the Bougainville Peace Agreement. An Australian mining company began prospecting for copper in the Crown Prince Range at Panguna in the early 1960s. The mine started production in 1972 under management of Bougainville Copper Ltd (BCL) with the Papua New Guinea government as a 20% shareholder. This led to an uprising in 1988, led by Francis Ona, a Panguna landowner and the Commander of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army. 1972, as the world’s largest copper mine, with total metal endowment of 18 billion pounds of copper and 30 million ounces of gold (historic production and remaining JORC-compliant resource; Collier et al., 2011; Bougainville Copper Limited, 2016). [2], The mine was vitally important to the economy of Papua New Guinea. The Bougainville Copper had set up a system of racial segregation on the island, with one set of facilities for white workers and one set for the locals. Bougainville Copper, a company in which the local government (known as the Autonomous Bougainville Government) has a 36.4% stake is up 200% over the … [4] Papua New Guinea has been an independent country since 16 September 1975. The discovery of vast copper ore deposits in Bougainville's Crown Prince Range led to the establishment of the copper mine in 1969 by Bougainville Copper Ltd, a subsidiary of the Australian company Conzinc Rio Tinto of Australia. This ended up causing a civil war in Bougainville, which led to the closure of the mine. President Momis asserted that progressing with BCL could "cause a total explosion of the situation again". History. The transnational company Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL), a joint venture of the Australian based companies Conzinc Rio Tinto and Broken Hill Corporation, began prospecting in 1963. The mine was vitally important to the economy of Papua New Guinea, but the people of Bougainville were seeing little benefit from it. They demanded billions in compensation from CRA — a total of half the mine's profits since … Mining giant Rio Tinto Group, which was historically Bougainville Copper Limited's major shareholder, exited on 30 June 2016 when it transferred its 53.8 per cent shareholding for distribution to the Autonomous Bougainville Government and the Independent State of Papua New Guinea. Once it relinquished its share in Bougainville Copper Ltd, the company washed its hands of responsibility for the environmental damage wrought between 1972 and 1989. The area of Panguna has also been closed off by Panguna landowners, represented by the Meekamui Tribal Government and remains a 'no go zone'. 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). 1967 June - Mining Agreement negotiated between CRA and Administration, including offer of 20% equity to PNG if The brutal history of Bougainville – in pictures Children of Resistance and Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) guerrillas arrive at the signing of the Bougainville ceasefire agreement in 1998. The moratorium is a dramatic turnaround in policy from the Autonomous Bougainville Government, which determined landowners felt BCL didn't deserve a social licence to run the mine. APPENDIX D - OUTLINE HISTORY OF THE BOUGAINVILLE CONFLICT 171 July - villagers around Panguna force suspension of drilling operations, but drilling later continues under police protection. Bougainville had a history of small-scale mining. [1][2] The mine has been closed since 1989 and has ceased all production. An inglorious example of company misbehaviour remains Rio Tinto’s predations through its Panguna copper mine, of which it was a majority shareholder for 45 years. The introduction of Australian and New Guinean workers caused resentment and the exploitation of the mine became increasingly intertwined with issues of indigenous identity. The Case of the Bougainville Mine: Success and Failure in the Management of a Multinational Corporation - Volume 8 Issue 1 - Graeme R Tonks, Peter J Dowling ... J. Bougainville Copper Last updated June 13, 2020. The Panguna copper mine in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, was discovered in the 1960s by one of our founding companies, with first production commencing in 1972. In 1960, Australian geologists found copper in Naisioi land, Bougainville. The Papua New Guinea Independence Constitution had stated land ownership was to just below the surface of the soil; this meant that all mineral rights would belong to the State. The discovery of valuable resources led to the establishment of the Panguna mine. The mine was one of the largest in the world… Up until then, it was one of the world's largest open-pit mines. Once it relinquished its share in Bougainville Copper Ltd, the company washed its hands of responsibility for the environmental damage wrought between 1972 and 1989. Mine production was officially halted on May 15 1989, which led to the complete withdrawal of BCL personnel by March 24, 1990.[4]. Rio Tinto divested from the mine in 2016, giving its 53.8% interest in Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) to the Papua New Guinea government and the autonomous Bougainville … In contrast to this, the Bougainvilleas received 0.5–1.25% share of the total profit. These allegations were previously denied by BCL's former Chairman, but Dr Lasslett insists on their veracity. The mine is controlled by the Me'ekamui Tribal Government of Unity and its leaders, President Philip Miriori and Vice President, Phillip Takaung and Stanley Ona, son of Francis Ona. It was one of the world´s largest open pit mines. An inglorious example of company misbehaviour remains Rio Tinto’s predations through its Panguna copper mine, of which it was a majority shareholder for 45 years. The issue of compensation went to the High Court of Australia, where it was found that the compensation was inadequate under ordinary federal Australian law, but that as an External Territory, Papua New Guinea was not guaranteed the same standards that applied to mainland Australia. The mine at Panguna was opened in 1972 and was majority-owned by Rio Tinto. The operation closed 17 years later amid a prolonged campaign of sabotage by the Bougainville Revo- On satellite images, the Panguna mine yawns amid the otherwise green mountain forests of central Bougainville Island in the South Pacific, a silty river valley tracing a jagged path from the mine south and west to Empress Augusta Bay. Shares in Bougainville Copper Ltd, the former operator of the giant Panguna gold and copper mine that was shut by civil war, have surged in recent … History. Both President Miriori and Commander Pipero visited and were acknowledged by a feast and speeches, held as part of the historic visit by the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea on January 29, 2014 to Panguna. It has remained closed since 1989. A mine surveyor and active figure on the New Panguna Landowners Association, Ona had demanded compensation in the billions for the environmental damage caused by Bougainville Copper … Bougainville Copper Limited is an independently-managed company of Papua New Guinea that is publicly listed on the ASX (Australian Securities Exchange). The PNG national government received a 20% share of profit from the mine, of which the Bougainvilleans received 5% - 1.25% share of the total profit.[3]. Rio Tinto holds 53 per cent of shares in BCL and the company still holds an … Ona himself had worked for Bougainville Copper, and had witnessed the effects the mine was having on the landscape of the island. PNG was supported by Australia and the mines operator, Bougainville Copper Limited ("BCL") (ASX: BOC) in the conflict which sought Bougainville's secession from PNG and an end to the mining on environmental grounds. [5] This research suggested that BCL placed pressure on the PNG government to assert its authority on Bougainville, following acts of industrial sabotage. Bougainville landowner groups were called to vote on allowing BCL to renew their mining licence and potentially reopen the Panguna mine, but lacked support. HISTORY PANGUNA MINE. My Valley is Changing The building of a giant open-cut copper mine on the island of Bougainville brought profound change to local landowners. The 10 year conflict was brutal and resulted in over 20,000 dead. But the identification of a major gold, copper and silver orebody at Panguna in the 1960s prompted Bougainville Copper Ltd, (BCL) a … CRA Ltd is an Australian company which in turn was dominated by the British mining company Rio Tinto Zinc. The Panguna mine is a large copper mine located in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, in the east of Papua New Guinea. Once it relinquished its share in Bougainville Copper Ltd, the company washed its hands of responsibility for the environmental damage wrought between 1972 and 1989. An inglorious example of company misbehaviour remains Rio Tinto’s predations through its Panguna copper mine, of which it was a majority shareholder for 45 years. Shovel at Panguna mine undergoing maintenance, engaged in overburden removal, c. 1971. In 1987, Ona and Serero called a meeting of landowners at Panguna, and as a result, the Panguna Landowners' Association was formed, with Serero as 'chairlady', and Ona as General Secretary. A mine surveyor and active figure on the New Panguna Landowners Association, Ona had demanded compensation in the billions for the environmental damage caused by Bougainville Copper Ltd. [8], During 2017, President Momis and the Autonomous Bougainville Government advocated for the re-opening of the Panguna mine. Australian External Territories Minister Charles Barnes was accused of telling the Bougainvillean people they would "get nothing". Production began in 1972 under management of Bougainville Copper Limited with Rio Tinto and Papua New Guinea as major shareholders. The area is secured by the Me'ekamui Defence Force (formerly the Bougainville Revolutionary Army - the "BRA"). The mine was once the world's largest open pit copper gold mine generating over 40% of PNG's GDP. Panguna represents one of the largest copper reserves in Papua New Guinea and in the world having estimated reserves of 1 billion tonnes of ore grading 0.34% copper … The mine at Panguna was opened by CRA Ltd. under armed Australian police protection. The world´s largest open pit mines undergoing maintenance, engaged in overburden removal c.... The Papua New Guinea massive profits generated by the Me'ekamui Defence Force ( formerly the Bougainville Revolutionary Army of giant... 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