Story: Pacific Islands and New Zealand

Bougainville rebels guarding the Panguna mine site, 1996

Bougainville rebels guarding the Panguna mine site, 1996

Bougainville, with its rich mineral resources, was claimed as part of Papua New Guinea from 1886. By the time it was forced to close in 1989, a huge copper mining operation was providing about 20% of the Papua New Guinea government's revenue, with little returned to the province. Here, Bougainville rebels are shown guarding the Panguna mine in 1996.

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Photograph by Ben Bohane

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How to cite this page:

Jon Fraenkel, 'Pacific Islands and New Zealand - Melanesia and the Bougainville crisis', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 17 May 2022)

Story by Jon Fraenkel, published 20 Jun 2012