But there are questions over Rio Tinto subsidiary’s recent role
Bougainville’s vice-president has said that the “future and re-opening of the Panguna copper mine is to be decided by the Panguna landowners themselves” –  while adding that “the views of other stakeholders must also be considered and taken into account.”
One of these so-called “stakeholders” is Rio Tinto’s subsidiary, BCL. The company has not been able to return to the island for nearly 22 years, after it was forced to abandon the mine site, following the rise of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army – itself comprising many of the Panguna landowners.
In its latest annual report, BCL states that: “[T]here have been regular and positive interactions with landowners” in the mining lease area.
Shareholders attending Rio Tinto’s London annual general meeting next month might well ask the board exactly what these “positive interactions” consist of and on what basis they were made.
No independent process to gauge the landowners’ opinions on re-opening the mine (let alone one granting them free prior and informed consent to such a move) has yet been initiated.
See http://www.minesandcommunities.org/article.php?a=9997.