The first Bougainville independence movement began to arise in the late 1960s, as people began to air their grievances against the then Australian colonial government over the handling of the Panguna mine. A mine surveyor and active figure on the New Panguna Landowners Association, Ona had demanded compensation in the billions for the environmental damage caused by Bougainville Copper Ltd. In 1989 in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, a copper mine co-owned by an Australian mining company and the PNG government became the focus of conflict. An inglorious example of company misbehaviour remains Rio Tinto’s predations through its Panguna copper mine, of which it was a majority shareholder for 45 years. Bougainville landowner groups were called to vote on allowing BCL to renew their mining licence and potentially reopen the Panguna mine, but lacked support. BCL operated the copper, gold and silver mine at the Panguna mine on Bougainville Island in PNG from 1971 to 1989. This ended up causing a civil war in Bougainville, which led to the closure of the mine. History. Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) is a mining company of Papua New Guinea (PNG) that is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). Bougainville Copper Limited is an independently-managed company of Papua New Guinea that is publicly listed on the ASX (Australian Securities Exchange). The PNG national government received a 20% share of profit from the mine, of which the Bougainvilleans received 5% - 1.25% share of the total profit.[3]. Mining operations were officially halted on 15 May 1989, due to militant activity and the mine has remained closed since. Bougainville Copper Last updated June 13, 2020. BCL, a former Rio Tinto subsidiary and a publicly listed company on the Australian Securities Exchange, managed operations at the mine. Mine production was officially halted on May 15 1989, which led to the complete withdrawal of BCL personnel by March 24, 1990.[4]. Bougainville had a history of small-scale mining. [7], A referendum on Bougainville's independence must be held no later than June 2020 under the Bougainville Peace Agreement. The introduction of Australian and New Guinean workers caused resentment and the exploitation of the mine became increasingly intertwined with issues of indigenous identity. It provided over 45% of Papua New Guinea's national export revenue and was important to the economy. Bougainville Copper Limited is an Australian copper, gold, and silver mining company that operated the Panguna open cut mine on the island of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea (PNG) from 1971 to 1989. This occurred as a result of the conflict between the forces led by Francis Ona, Supreme Commander of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) and the Papua New Guinea Defence Force. The discovery of vast copper ore deposits in Bougainville's Crown Prince Range led to the establishment of the copper mine in 1969 by Bougainville Copper Ltd, a subsidiary of the Australian company Conzinc Rio Tinto of Australia.The mine began production in 1972 with the support of the Papua New Guinea National Government as a 20% shareholder. Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) is a mining company of Papua New Guinea (PNG) that is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). Ore mill at Panguna, Boungainville mine under construction, c. 1971. An inglorious example of company misbehaviour remains Rio Tinto’s predations through its Panguna copper mine, of which it was a majority shareholder for 45 years. Rio Tinto divested from the mine in 2016, giving its 53.8% interest in Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) to the Papua New Guinea government and the autonomous Bougainville … The 10 year conflict was brutal and resulted in over 20,000 dead. Both President Miriori and Commander Pipero visited and were acknowledged by a feast and speeches, held as part of the historic visit by the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea on January 29, 2014 to Panguna. The Bougainville Copper had set up a system of racial segregation on the island, with one set of facilities for white workers and one set for the locals. Up until then, it was one of the world's largest open-pit mines. An inglorious example of company misbehaviour remains Rio Tinto’s predations through its Panguna copper mine, of which it was a majority shareholder for … No environmental impact study was carried out. HISTORY PANGUNA MINE. Panguna represents one of the largest copper reserves in Papua New Guinea and in the world having estimated reserves of 1 billion tonnes of ore grading 0.34% copper … Mining Bougainville is an excerpt from the film My Valley is Changing (26 mins) produced in 1970. [2], The mine was vitally important to the economy of Papua New Guinea. The mine is controlled by the Me'ekamui Tribal Government of Unity and its leaders, President Philip Miriori and Vice President, Phillip Takaung and Stanley Ona, son of Francis Ona. An inglorious example of company misbehaviour remains Rio Tinto’s predations through its Panguna copper mine, of which it was a majority shareholder for 45 years. Panguna, mining town and site of a large open-pit copper mine in the south-central interior of Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea. But the identification of a major gold, copper and silver orebody at Panguna in the 1960s prompted Bougainville Copper Ltd, (BCL) a … The area is secured by the Me'ekamui Defence Force (formerly the Bougainville Revolutionary Army - the "BRA"). The issue of compensation went to the High Court of Australia, where it was found that the compensation was inadequate under ordinary federal Australian law, but that as an External Territory, Papua New Guinea was not guaranteed the same standards that applied to mainland Australia. Australian External Territories Minister Charles Barnes was accused of telling the Bougainvillean people they would "get nothing". Bougainville Copper Ltd (BCL), a subsidiary of Conzinc RioTinto Australia (CRA), operated the huge Panguna copper and gold mine from 1972 to 1989 under a 1967 agreement with the Australian colonial administration of the then Territory of Papua and New Guinea (TPNG). The dispute was essentially a land owners' revolt over getting none of the massive profits generated by the mine. Bougainville Copper’s main objective is to work cooperatively towards realising the vision of resuming active exploration and sustainable copper, gold and silver mining at Panguna, in central Bougainville, after mining ceased in 1989. A mine surveyor and active figure on the New Panguna Landowners Association, Ona had demanded compensation in the billions for the environmental damage caused by Bougainville Copper … Rio Tinto holds 53 per cent of shares in BCL and the company still holds an … APPENDIX D - OUTLINE HISTORY OF THE BOUGAINVILLE CONFLICT 171 July - villagers around Panguna force suspension of drilling operations, but drilling later continues under police protection. On satellite images, the Panguna mine yawns amid the otherwise green mountain forests of central Bougainville Island in the South Pacific, a silty river valley tracing a jagged path from the mine south and west to Empress Augusta Bay. The moratorium is a dramatic turnaround in policy from the Autonomous Bougainville Government, which determined landowners felt BCL didn't deserve a social licence to run the mine. The discovery of vast copper ore deposits in Bougainville's Crown Prince Range led to the establishment of the copper mine in 1969 by Bougainville Copper Ltd, a subsidiary of the Australian company Conzinc Rio Tinto of Australia. An inglorious example of company misbehaviour remains Rio Tinto’s predations through its Panguna copper mine, of which it was a majority shareholder for 45 years. [8], During 2017, President Momis and the Autonomous Bougainville Government advocated for the re-opening of the Panguna mine. Bougainville Copper — Ltd is a Australian copper, gold, and silver mining company that operates the Panguna open cut mine on the island of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea (PNG). The mine at Panguna was opened in 1972 and was majority-owned by Rio Tinto. Ona himself had worked for Bougainville Copper, and had witnessed the effects the mine was having on the landscape of the island. The mine was once the world's largest open pit copper gold mine generating over 40% of PNG's GDP. [9], In January 2018, the Bougainville government enacted an indefinite moratorium on renewing the licence of BCL over fears it could reignite violent civil conflict. The brutal history of Bougainville – in pictures Children of Resistance and Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) guerrillas arrive at the signing of the Bougainville ceasefire agreement in 1998. Shovel at Panguna mine undergoing maintenance, engaged in overburden removal, c. 1971. The mine started production in 1972 under management of Bougainville Copper Ltd (BCL) with the Papua New Guinea government as a 20% shareholder. Mining giant Rio Tinto Group, which was historically Bougainville Copper Limited's major shareholder, exited on 30 June 2016 when it transferred its 53.8 per cent shareholding for distribution to the Autonomous Bougainville Government and the Independent State of Papua New Guinea. Production began in 1972 under management of Bougainville Copper Limited with Rio Tinto and Papua New Guinea as major shareholders. Following the discovery of vast copper ore deposits in Crown Prince Range, Bougainville Copper Limited (Bougainville Copper or the company) operated a large open pit mine and processing facility at Panguna in central Bougainville in the North Solomon’s Province of Papua New Guinea (PNG) between 1972 and 1989. Bougainville Copper, a company in which the local government (known as the Autonomous Bougainville Government) has a 36.4% stake is up 200% over the … PNG was supported by Australia and the mines operator, Bougainville Copper Limited ("BCL") (ASX: BOC) in the conflict which sought Bougainville's secession from PNG and an end to the mining on environmental grounds. In 1960, Australian geologists found copper in Naisioi land, Bougainville. For 17 years in the 1970s and 1980s, the mine was one of the world’s largest for copper and gold. [6], In his first statement on Radio Australia Pacific Beat on 8 June 2010, the newly elected President of Bougainville, John Momis, declared that the Panguna mine has to be reopened to assure Bougainville's future economic growth. BCL once operated the Panguna mine, which sparked a decade-long civil war in 1989 and remains a source of tension between the autonomous island of Bougainville and the PNG mainland. Bougainville Island is the main island of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. [10], In February 2018, BCL begun legal proceedings against the Autonomous Bougainville Government following the cancellation of the exploration license. [1], The mine at Panguna was opened in 1972 and was majority-owned by Rio Tinto. [1][2] The mine has been closed since 1989 and has ceased all production. The Case of the Bougainville Mine: Success and Failure in the Management of a Multinational Corporation - Volume 8 Issue 1 - Graeme R Tonks, Peter J Dowling ... J. In contrast to this, the Bougainvilleas received 0.5–1.25% share of the total profit. Once it relinquished its share in Bougainville Copper Ltd, the company washed its hands of responsibility for the environmental damage wrought between 1972 and 1989. T The area of Panguna has also been closed off by Panguna landowners, represented by the Meekamui Tribal Government and remains a 'no go zone'. The Panguna copper mine in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, was discovered in the 1960s by one of our founding companies, with first production commencing in 1972. It was one of the world´s largest open pit mines. The MDF is led by Commander Moses Pipero. Copper ore concentrator undergoing construction, c. 1971, "Rio Tinto accused of violating human rights in Bougainville for not cleaning up Panguna mine", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Panguna_mine&oldid=995494092, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 21 December 2020, at 09:43. The mine began production in 1972 with the support of the Papua New Guinea National Government as a 20% shareholder. President Momis asserted that progressing with BCL could "cause a total explosion of the situation again". The mine at Panguna was opened by CRA Ltd. under armed Australian police protection. This led to an uprising in 1988, led by Francis Ona, a Panguna landowner and the Commander of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army. Panguna represents one of the largest copper reserves in Papua New Guinea and in the world, having an estimated reserve of 1 billion tonnes of ore copper and 12 million ounces of gold. 1972, as the world’s largest copper mine, with total metal endowment of 18 billion pounds of copper and 30 million ounces of gold (historic production and remaining JORC-compliant resource; Collier et al., 2011; Bougainville Copper Limited, 2016). Once it relinquished its share in Bougainville Copper Ltd, the company washed its hands of responsibility for the environmental damage wrought between 1972 and 1989. These allegations were previously denied by BCL's former Chairman, but Dr Lasslett insists on their veracity. The Bougainville civil war raged for a decade after indigenous landowners, incensed by environmental devastation and inequities associated with the Rio Tinto majority-owned Panguna copper mine, waged an armed campaign to shut the mine down. CRA Ltd is an Australian company which in turn was dominated by the British mining company Rio Tinto Zinc. Up to 20,000 people, or 10% of the population at the time, lost their lives. [11], Coordinates: .mw-parser-output .geo-default,.mw-parser-output .geo-dms,.mw-parser-output .geo-dec{display:inline}.mw-parser-output .geo-nondefault,.mw-parser-output .geo-multi-punct{display:none}.mw-parser-output .longitude,.mw-parser-output .latitude{white-space:nowrap}6°18′55″S 155°29′47″E / 6.31528°S 155.49639°E / -6.31528; 155.49639, "Bougainville Copper Limited shareholding", http://www.abg.gov.pg/peace-agreement/referendum, "Bougainville imposes moratorium on Panguna mine over fears of civil unrest", "BCL takes Bougainville Govt to court over licence non-renewal", European Shareholders of Bougainville Copper (ESBC), Bougainville Copper Limited - All Annual Reports since 1967, Blood and Treasure - SBS documentary 2011, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Bougainville_Copper&oldid=962228382, Copper mining companies of Papua New Guinea, Companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, All Wikipedia articles written in Australian English, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 12 June 2020, at 20:49. 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