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9 Aug 2006

Freddy Gigmai, The National [Papua New Guinea]

Panguna Mine Crisis Still Haunts Rio Tinto [Papua New Guinea/USA]

Resource giant Rio Tinto is considering its options after a US court of appeals ruled that a human rights claim made against the company on its role in Bougainville crisis after the collapse of its massive Panguna copper-gold mine in the early 1990s could be heard again. Rio Tinto Minerals (PNG Ltd) general manager Paul Coleman told The National yesterday the decision of the ninth circuit US district court of appeals in San Francisco was entirely concerned with procedural issues about whether the claims can go forward. . . . He said “in reaching its decision, the court had to assume that accusations were true but this was not the case”. Mr Coleman said if the matter ever gets to trial, Rio Tinto would show that the accusations against it were untrue.

Part of the following timelines

US appeals court decides that lawsuit against Rio Tinto (alleging human rights abuses in Papua New Guinea) may proceed

Rio Tinto lawsuit (re Papua New Guinea)