There are still big talks going on in regards to the reopening of Panguna mine. The leaders who worry so much about the wheels to run the Island region are more into it.
Many people with the Top former Ex-Combatants come out in the media saying it is still a sensitive issue. The main focus now is to reopen the mine to bring much needed economy, which will make the Island Region enough to fulfill the peoples cry for political independence.
Yes mining can bring development like Hospitals, roads and schools but in many cases this development does not reach the rural people that need it most. It can bring money and give political independence to Mekamui/Bougainville as some leaders and ESBC are claiming, but the lesson learnt is that the effects of it are forever and can never be recovered or replaced. It outweighs the benefits too.
In the last environmental work carried out by BCL in 1988, their modeling indicated that river water quality, once the tailings were no longer in the river, would meet drinking standards below the Jaba/Kawerong confluence but would have sufficiently high copper levels and would be toxic to sensitive aquatic species.
With the God given wisdom and knowledge when we see a rotten frog, snake or human waste etc at the head of the stream we know we can’t drink that water. The Panguna hole is like a big sore at the head, so people will not drink the river, which is tested ok with Western technology.
We live on the land and our future children will live on the land. We don’t want to repeat the same mistake again and thousands of our people will die fighting to close it down. We don’t want to be left with our Island turned into gravels and empty rusty skeletons, therefore Panguna mine should be out of mind and out of the lips of crazy greedy politicians and Rio Tinto BCL.