Dilemmas of Development

Dilemmas of Development: The social and economic impact of the Porgera gold mine

Colin Filer editor
Copyright Date: 2012
Published by: ANU Press
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  • Book Info
    Dilemmas of Development
    Book Description:

    The Porgera gold mine in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea is technically one of the most sophisticated and successful mines of recent times. In its second year of operations (1992) it was the third largest gold producing mine in the world. Socially, though, the mine has brought a range of massive changes for the local Ipili community-both positive and negative. Dilemmas of Development is a record of a series of studies of the social and economic effects of the Porgerta mine, commissioned by the Porgera Joint Venture (PJV).

    eISBN: 978-1-922144-42-3
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. Tables, figures and maps
    (pp. vi-viii)
  4. Contributors
    (pp. ix-ix)
  5. Abbreviations
    (pp. x-x)
  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  7. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-18)
    Colin Filer

    The main purpose of this volume is to publish, and thus to publicise, the factual material contained in a series of consultancy reports commissioned by the Porgera Joint Venture (PJV) between 1992 and 1994 (Banks 1993, 1994a, 1994b, 1994c; Bonne1l1994). These reports dealt with the social and economic impact of the Porgera gold mine on the population of the Porgera Valley during the period which had elapsed since the Government of Papua New Guinea (PNG) signed a Mining Development Contract with the PJV in April 1989. They were commissioned as part of what became known as the Porgera Social Monitoring...

  8. 2 Social change in the Porgera Valley
    (pp. 19-87)
    Susanne Bonnell

    This chapter is based on the observations which I made during my period of employment with the Porgera Joint Venture (PJV), from February 1989 to October 1991, and an additional 11-week period of fieldwork in the Porgera area between October 1992 and May 1993, conducted as part of the Porgera Social Monitoring Programme.

    According to the terms of reference established for my own contribution to this programme, I was to

    describe and provide information on the changes which took place in the social environment of the Porgera mine impact area from the end of 1988 to the present (i.e. to...

  9. 3 The economic impact of the mine
    (pp. 88-127)
    Glenn Banks

    A common observation from around mining projects in Papua New Guinea is that the local communities become stratified as ‘different members of the local community will experience the different aspects of the development process in different forms and degrees, and the process as a whole will give rise to new forms of inequality, division and conflict within the community’ (Filer 1992:6). This observation influenced the focus of the fieldwork reported in this chapter, which aimed to identify some of the inequalities developing within the Porgeran community.

    The objectives of this initial piece of fieldwork were defined as

    collection and analysis...

  10. 4 The landowner relocation programme
    (pp. 128-159)
    Susanne Bonnell

    In order to construct the mine, the Porgera Joint Venture (PJV) had to relocate landowners living in the area of proposed mining activity and provide these landowners with improved housing. The Relocation Agreement was negotiated directly between the landowners and the PJV as part of the total compensation package programme. The Porgera relocation programmes was of a massive scale unprecedented in Papua New Guinea’s mining history. In 1988, those planning for relocation never envisaged just how massive it would be. The original number of families planned for relocation grew progressively from 230 to 420. Relocation houses and new villages were...

  11. 5 Gardens and wantoks
    (pp. 160-190)
    Glenn Banks

    This chapter is designed to illuminate the significance of the subsistence sector in the local economy during the development of the Porgera mine. I begin by detailing the physical environment at Porgera which acts as the ultimate constraint on the productivity of the subsistence system. The Porgeran gardening system prior to the start of mine construction is then described, and the effect of the mine development on the gardening system is investigated, firstly in general terms and then focussing on two areas within the Special Mining Lease (SML) where the agricultural system is under stress.

    The basic demographic and economic...

  12. 6 The next round of relocation
    (pp. 191-221)
    Glenn Banks

    This chapter differs from the previous ones in that it is focused on a particular area, rather than an issue such as economic change. It establishes a social and economic baseline for the Kewai people on the north bank of the Kaiya River (see Map 1.1) within a Lease for Mining Purposes (LMP) which the Porgera Joint Venture (PJV) was seeking to acquire in 1993. These people were due to be affected by the spoil from the PJV's planned Anjolek Creek waste dump, and the company was therefore embarking on a compensation and relocation programme in accordance with an agreement...

  13. 7 Business as unusual
    (pp. 222-259)
    Glenn Banks

    This chapter presents the results of four weeks fieldwork at Porgera during March 1994, arising in part from a recognition that my earlier account of the cash economy (Chapter 3) had not adequately addressed the role of ‘business’. Since 1990, the value of Porgera Joint Venture (PJV) business contracts to local Porgeran businesses had been equivalent to the value of all cash payments made by the company in the form of compensation, wages and royalties. Given its size, political importance and recent history, the business sector in Porgera was a major ‘issue’ in the local community.

    My earlier discussion of...

  14. 8 Porgera—whence and whither?
    (pp. 260-279)
    Aletta Biersack

    Ipili speakers span two valleys—the Porgera Valley, home of the eastern Ipili, and the Paiela Valley, home of the western Ipili (Biersack 1995a). Porgerans and Paielans share a language, a culture, and a common, but also divergent, history. In the past, and still today, marriage, travel, and trade linked Porgera with Paiela to the west, the Tari basin to the south, and Enga-speaking areas to the east of Porgera. Their position today, however, is not merely a regional one. Colonial and post-colonial history, and in particular the gold mining for which Porgerans are justly famous, have exposed them to...

  15. 9 Evidence of the ‘new competencies’?
    (pp. 280-301)
    John Burton

    In this chapter, I review the knowledge of Porgera history and society that mine management has sought to acquire, since proving the prospect in the 1980s, for use in its dealings with the mine area community. In a more general context, the kinds of skills and knowledge required to do this professionally have been advocated as the ‘new competencies’ of mining (Davis 1995). Conversely, attention to these matters in the industry is acknowledged to have been patchy over the years, and shortcomings have been blamed for the onset of lesser or greater crises, such as those which have occurred at...

  16. References
    (pp. 302-312)
  17. Index
    (pp. 313-319)