Story by Dan
After staying the night with Tabu at Tokunari we left early to get to our meeting place for the truck that would take us to Nagovis district high in the fresh water abundant mountains of Central Bougainville. Island time is naturally loose but the ten seater landcrusier turned up eventually giving me time to speak with the other people waiting around Arawa town including Meekamui Prime minister William Sivusia who assured me cottage industry and small man powered mining projects was the way forward for Bougainville.
We also had a chance to talk about the Rothschild family estate being the World Bank private bankster family who loan money to countries forcibly indebting populations forever more to this covert form of slavery invented and propelled by this perverted 1% elite. I recommended Mekamui not be coerced by these criminal master minds with their corrupt manipulators and dodgy loans, rather they continue with their own self-determination, innovation and autonomy. So we boarded the truck and set out towards the No Go Zone checkpoint that remains to remind people of the victory over Rio Tinto and of the continuing struggle for Independence.
Upon recognising our truck was a tourist truck bound for Nagovis past Panguna the checkpoint was lifted and we headed towards Panguna. I sat in the front seat with a young man named Russell heading to his home village in Nagovis district after doing a seasons work at a Gold Mine in Lihir a PNG province opened up to mining by Australian and multi-national corporations. I questioned Russell about the use of cyanide in heap leach gold mining and he said it was used but that he was an electrician, showing me photos of his Australian work mates on his new i phone. As we drove past the massive hole that was Panguna Gold and Copper mine I tried to imagine the natural landscape that was there before CRA and BCL mangled the place into the ugly scar that exists today. The halted mining equipment, rock crusher engulfed with vegetation and the eroded stock pile of minerals with stripped processing plant did however bring a satisfying smile to my face with a proud feeling towards Bougainvillean’s and the spirit of natural harmony reclaiming this fertile abundant land from destructive foreign values.
Next we passed the hundreds of man power miners scattered along the copper blue stained water way leading out of the mine, panning or washing gold with various sieve methods including old backyard trampolines. It was a sight I imagined that represented mining several hundred years ago before big machines, chemicals and multi-national corporations corrupted this communal environment with greedy, environmentally devastating methods based on exclusive ownership rather than community rights , community benefits and free luck participation. We passed the Jaba river over bridge, as I recalled what I had read about the destruction done to this river by dumping the mine tailings into it, that had extended the west coast river mouth by several kilometres with toxic mine tailings. Locals informed me that an American rig had been given permission to re-process some of these coastal tailings and was down there at the moment trying to steal a share of the wealth from the locals.
We soon hit the Pangara river crossing where the troopy would negotiate it’s path across the 80 metre wide passage of fast flowing water. I noticed the remains of iron footings that had once held up a bridge that had been washed away by flood waters, as I wondered about the rising water level around the troppy as it staggered across the slippery rock bottom. We made it across no problem today but I would not like to run this gauntlet in flood water that’s for sure. After some rugged, muddy four wheel driving we arrived at Nagovis district villages and paid the driver his modest k10 fee.