Enjoying this article? Bougainville President Dr. John Momis, however, has accused RTG of attempting to bribe his government and of waging a subversive propaganda campaign. 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. Panguna Copper Mine reopening is still untenable. Business & Human Rights Resource Centre Registered Charity in England & Wales no. By Dansi Oerupeu Contrary to authority’s claim of common support, the opposition against the Panguna Mine reopening is more apparent then ever. 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. Rio Tinto has refused. Looking beyond Panguna – A post-2020 strategy for Bougainville. Forrest’s company, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd, is the fourth largest iron ore producer in the world. for Us. The conflict cost as many as 15,000 lives and displaced 40,000 of the island's 200,000 inhabitants. About The mine was also at the center of a decade-long civil war fought between … In response, Papua New Guinea (PNG) sent in the military. Bougainville Copper Limited, (BCL) a subsidiary of the British-Australian resources giant Rio Tinto, owned the mine at the time of the conflict.... ...[S]ome of the islanders launched a class action lawsuit in the United States against Rio Tinto. 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. India’s foreign trade policy must be aligned to its self-reliance goals. The proposed reopening of Panguna has been framed by senior politicians as the only viable solution to Bougainville’s political and economic challenges. 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. With an independence referendum on the horizon, reopening the Panguna mine offers both attractive opportunities and terrible consequences. The UAE has officially approved a Sinopharm vaccine, while there are promising unofficial results from Sinovac’s Indonesia trial. After a pandemic delay, the election is set to take place from August 12 to September 1. The Panguna mine on the Pacific island of Bougainville is one of the largest copper and gold deposits in the world. I draw upon interview data to discuss tensions within the space of landownership that have intensified as a consequence of the legacies of the conflict. The 2019 Bougainville referendum could see the controversial Panguna mine reopened, offering both attractive opportunities and terrible consequences. Before the war, the Panguna mine generated more than $1 billion in national tax revenue and accounted for about 45 percent of Papua New Guinea’s total exports, 17 percent of its internal revenue, and 12 percent of its gross domestic product. With an independence referendum on the horizon, reopening the Panguna mine offers both attractive opportunities and terrible consequences. 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.”. Now...several other smaller mining companies have shown interest in resuming operations at the mine...Fortescue Metals Group Ltd...RTG Mining Group...Panguna Development Company...Callabus.... As Bougainville Revolutionary Army leader Francis Ona once said, "Land to us is our lifeline, and we cannot be separated from it. The joint resolutions has been reaffirmed and resolved on 25th August 2015 in Arawa and signed at Arawa Youth … By Dr Kristian Lasslett*| 19 April 2017. 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. They are, however, united in their opposition to Momis’ plan for Panguna, which would see the government and Australian mining company, Callabus, set up a new joint company that would be given a monopoly over the island’s mineral wealth. Plans to reopen the mine, which could help fund an independent Bougainville, have stalled due to competing claims over development rights over the long-shuttered Panguna mine. 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. Will the Biden administration finally end the U.S. presence in Afghanistan? 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. 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. Amid COVID-19, Pakistani journalists are looking for training to help them counter misinformation and stay safe while reporting. Us, Write This chapter examines the politics surrounding the reopening of the Panguna mine, the avowed objective of the ABG. No matter the results of the referendum, any company looking to make a buck is sure to find opposition in Panguna. Mining ended at Panguna 31 years ago, after disputes over the mine’s profits and its environmental damage led to a decade-long civil war in Bougainville that killed up to 20,000 people. Read more "Will Bougainville Reopen the Panguna Mine? Bougainville's gold mine sparked a war that killed 20,000 - now it could be reopened. Earlier this year I met representatives from Fortescue mining, but I have been waiting 10 months for them to make a commitment.”. Shareholding. 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. While India and Pakistan argue and fight over the fate of Kashmir, is anyone listening to the Kashmiris? But that too would be controversial. “This is the first holistic offer, which has come from China,” he said. According to Sir Mel Togolo, Executive Chairman of Bougainville Copper Ltd (BCL), there is a long way to go before any timeline can be set. For years, the Bougainville government has asked the company to make contributions to help with the clean up. Another landowner group, the Panguna Development Company, supports the mine’s former operator, BCL, in its bid to return to Panguna — pitting the two groups against one another. While slowly diversifying its basket of economic and diplomatic relationships, Bhutan continues to remain a steadfast Indian ally. Bougainville, and developing stories to watch across the business and human rights movement it needs! As health authorities predict the number of daily cases might top 1,000 contributions... 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