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

US court revives human rights case against Rio Tinto

Source: 
Reuters

More on the Rio Tinto decision in the US courts

Source: 
Papua New Guinea Mine Watch

Women call the shots on Panguna mega mine

Source: 
IPS

Panguna landowners disappointed

Source: 
Mekamui news

BCL memo reveals dying moments of Panguna mine

Source: 
Namorong Report

Rebel leader wants to talk about reopening Panguna

Source: 
Radio Australia

Kemish visits Panguna

Source: 
Post Courier

History of the conflict on Bougainville

Source: 
PNG Attitude blog

Did Rio Tinto fund the war on Bougainville?

Source: 
PNG Attitude blog

Saving our Land: People power against money power

Source: 
Papua New Guinea Mine Watch