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Bougainville and the Mining Question

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 Ramu Mine Blog Bougainville is grappling with a series of challenges that will set the course for the island’s long-term future. What economic model of development will they adopt? How will this model gel with aspirations for independence? And perhaps most controversially how does the mining question fit into this equation?
Given the haste with which mining was initially imposed on Bougainville during the 1960s, and the bloody conflict the mine subsequently provoked, now is not the time to indecently rush the latter question, much less is it time for those in positions of power to confront communities with threatening ultimatums.
Yet that is exactly what is happening. The Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG), Rio Tinto (via its PNG subsidiary, BCL), the Australian government, in addition to an assortment of individuals, all seem to be singing from the same hymn sheet. The hymn goes something like this:
‘If you want independence/autonomy and development, then the mine m…

Bougainville and the Mining Question

Image
 Ramu Mine Blog Bougainville is grappling with a series of challenges that will set the course for the island’s long-term future. What economic model of development will they adopt? How will this model gel with aspirations for independence? And perhaps most controversially how does the mining question fit into this equation?
Given the haste with which mining was initially imposed on Bougainville during the 1960s, and the bloody conflict the mine subsequently provoked, now is not the time to indecently rush the latter question, much less is it time for those in positions of power to confront communities with threatening ultimatums.
Yet that is exactly what is happening. The Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG), Rio Tinto (via its PNG subsidiary, BCL), the Australian government, in addition to an assortment of individuals, all seem to be singing from the same hymn sheet. The hymn goes something like this:
‘If you want independence/autonomy and development, then the min…