Is Rio Tinto “listening” to the people of Bougainville? That’s what a leading Papua New Guinea newspaper announced last week, as Paul Coleman from the UK company’s Bougainville Copper (BCL) subsidiary arrived in the province following a twenty years’ enforced absence. In May 1989, BCL staff fled the Panguna minesite as the island’s Revolutionary Army (BRA) declared independence, not only from Papua New Guinea but also from Rio Tinto. During his visit Mr.Coleman offered Bougainville’s president vague assurances of respecting citizens’ views on a final resolution of one of the world’s bloodiest recent mining-related conflicts, and possible re-opening of the mine. Not surprisingly, his blandishments failed to satisfy Indigenous landowners of the Panguna area, one of whose leaders declared that the mine would “remain closed for as many years as possible.”