The people of Bougainville fought a ten-year war against global mining giant Rio Tinto who destroyed their land, felled their forests and poisoned their rivers to create the Panguna copper and gold mine.
Many thousands of people died during the war which Rio Tinto tried to end by complicit association with the Government of Papua New Guinea in the use of riot police, PNG Defence Forces, concentration camps, an air and sea blockade, media blackout, and the attempted use of hired mercenaries. The war on Bougainville has been likened to the plot of the hit movie Avatar.
The Warehouse Magazine published a good short history of Panguna from the beginning to the current on 3 May 2010.
The Bougainville Freedom Movement website has not been updated for a number of years but provides excellent background material and a fascinating insight into the mine and its impacts on the lives of the people of Bougainville.
Bougainville Copper Ltd (a subsidiary of Rio Tinto) held their AGM in Port Moresby on 29 April 2010. Here is the Chairman's report.
Follow news on this project