But the mine pit remains a huge scar in the landscape in the centre of Bougainville island and has left a deadly legacy for residents. The abandoned Panguna copper mine in Bougainville â once a rich source of profits â sparked a costly environmental and social crisis. Panguna, which was once the largest open-pit copper mine in the world, alone accounted for up to 40% of Papua's exports. Rio Tinto is abandoning its obligation to do three things: 1. compensate for environmental damages 2. clean up the damage 3. rehabilitate the environment. But the feat came at a huge cost. MEDIA RELEASE â For Immediate Release 30 September 2020 Rio Tintoâs readiness to enter talks with key stakeholders about social and environmental issues arising from its prior operation of the Panguna mine, has been welcomed by Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL). A group of Bougainville residents have filed a human rights complaint against Rio Tinto, alleging ongoing environmental, health and economic impacts from mining â¦ In 1989, amid rising fury at the environmental damage and the inequitable division of the mineâs profits, customary landowners forced the mine closed, blowing up Pangunaâs power lines and sabotaging operations. After evaluation, the precautionary principle should be invoked to prevent the mine from being constructed until current mining technology can advance to a point in which any environmental â¦ The Ok Tedi environmental disaster caused severe harm to the environment along 1,000 km (620 mi) of the Ok Tedi River and the Fly River in the Western Province of Papua New Guinea between around 1984 and 2013. The environmental damage caused by the mining activity and the lack of financial benefits was the cause of strong protests among the population. resources and environment of the South Pacific Region Article 13 MINING AND COASTAL EROSION âThe Parties shall take all appropriate measures to prevent, reduce and control environmental damage in the Convention Area, in particular coastal erosion caused by coastal engineering, mining activities, sand removal, â¦ One of the worst environmental disasters caused by humans, it is â¦ 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 in operation from 1972 to 1989. The lives of 50,000 people have been disrupted. BCL, a former Rio Tinto subsidiary and a publicly listed company on the Australian Securities Exchange, managed operations at the mine. In 1989, the Nasioi on Bougainville were the worldâs first indigenous people, angered by inequity and environmental damage, to shut down a multinational mining venture. any obligation to address the impacts of the Panguna mine - environmental, social, health and spiritual. The mine at Panguna was opened in 1972 and majority-owned by Rio Tinto.It was important to the economy of Papua New Guinea, but the people of Bougainville were seeing little benefit from it.The first Bougainville independence movement arose in the late 1960s, as people aired their grievances against the Australian colonial government over the handling of the Panguna mine. The global economic and environmental climate has progressively changed in recent years. There is growing pressure on mining companies to clean up their toxic tailings. Credit: Friedrich Stark / Alamy Stock Photo The mine has had a massive impact Ð social, spiritual, and environmental. With the threat of such large, irreversible environmental damage, the pebble mine is an experiment that the communities of Alaska cannot afford to gamble on.