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 mine has been closed since 1989, but some candidates in the current election favour reopening the mine (although the women landowners firmly oppose that option).

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.

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News

Bougainville hardliners to stand by O'Neill

Source: 
Papua New Guinea Mine Watch

Panguna landholders want Copper Agreement Act repealed

Source: 
Post Courier

Copper drives independence movement

Source: 
Papua New Guinea Mine Watch

Islanders scrutinize plans for reopening a mine they forced to close

Source: 
Papua New Guinea Mine Watch

Bougainville Copper deal to be reviewed

Source: 
The National

O'Neill says mining lease extended

Source: 
The National

Bougainville mining lease expires

Source: 
Post Courier

Plans set to review Bougainville Copper agreement

Source: 
Post Courier

Finding Bougainville's lost generation

Source: 
Namorong Report

Bougainville court challenge: landowners lawyer speaks

Source: 
Radio Australia