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

Re-opening of Panguna mine is not negotiable

Source: 
Mekamui blog

BCL announces K2.8m profit in 2010

Source: 
The National

ABG works on mining policy

Source: 
The National

Landowners make peace over mining issues

Source: 
Post Courier

Mine landowners and ABG reconcile

Source: 
The National

Militants clear one hurdle for mine to reopen

Source: 
Post Courier

AGB firm on stand to re-open mine

Source: 
The National

Bougainville President in dialogue on re-opening mine

Source: 
Radio Australia

Taylor's comments on Panguna anger observers

Source: 
Papua New Guinea Mine Watch