RIO TINTO COULD HAVE DONE MORE TO RAISE

admin's picture

BOUGAINVILLE ALARM

MELBOURNE, Australia (June 2, 1998 - Radio Australia)---The Australian mining company, Rio Tinto, has admitted it could have done more, ten years ago, to alert the Papua New Guinea government about problems in Bougainville.

A dispute over environmental damage and profits from the Panguna copper mine, run by Rio Tinto's majority-owned Bougainville Copper, led to a ten-year civil war and the mine's closure.

Chief executive Leon Davis told a business gathering in Melbourne, that Rio Tinto could have been more pro-active, in addressing the central dispute about profits:

"Back in those days, it was considered politically correct for large corporations to stay out of the business of governments and not try and influence governments, and I guess we were responding to that view at that time.

"Now, we are coming under increasing pressure to . . .interfere is perhaps too strong a word. . . but to participate with governments on things like human rights and whatever.

Despite the signing of a cease fire between Bougainville secessionists and the Papua New Guinea government April 30, the company has given no indication it will re-open the mine anytime soon.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment