Category Archives: Bougainville

My first Bougainville project: magnetic reconnaissance

Sailboat impounded

In 1965, when Panguna was still an exploration project, a lone sailor brought his boat into Kieta harbor to pick up supplies and spend a day ashore. When I met him he was staying in the Kieta pub. He said … Continue reading

Posted in Bougainville | Leave a comment

Arguing with Edgar

A few days after returning to Melbourne, I got into a conversation with Edgar Muceniekas, the geochemist who expanded the soil sampling to the whole Kawerong valley after Ken Phillips’ initial creek sampling at Panguna. (Edgar also introduced me to … Continue reading

Posted in Bougainville | Leave a comment

Back to Australia

With the magnetic survey project complete, it was time to head back to Australia.  Kobuan office manager Ray (the word is SHUVIM) Gawan booked my flights. From old Aropa airfield I boarded the island-hopping DC-3.  The flight attendant was a … Continue reading

Posted in Bougainville | Leave a comment

Trying to land at Kupei Antap

Having traversed both Kupei Antap and the trail over the top from Barapinang to the ocean, I thought that it would be a good idea to set a magnetic base at Kupei Antap.  By taking a reading up there and … Continue reading

Posted in Bougainville | Leave a comment

A bulldozer arrives

“The Sarang is in Kobuan bay.  Now we can get a road into Panguna.” Times were changing.  The Malecula, the tramp steamer that had supplied Bougainville with equipment that could not be brought in by air, was not big enough … Continue reading

Posted in Bougainville | Leave a comment

A few words in Nasioi

I understood that the Nasioi (pronounced ‘NAS-YOU-EE’) language has five dialects.  I see only four listed on internet sites in various locations.  The listed ones are Kieta, Pakia, Aunge, and Orami.  I remember hearing that Nagovisi was another dialect.  But, … Continue reading

Posted in Bougainville, Nasioi | Leave a comment

Traversing to the coast

After I finished the magnetic traversing of the Panguna-Barapinang survey grid, I thought it might be a good idea to make a long magnetic traverse from the prospect area to the northeast coast.  It would be a long trek, maybe … Continue reading

Posted in Bougainville | Leave a comment

Frank Espie

“Frank Espie is coming in today.” Frank Espie, a Conzinc Riotinto corporate-level executive, was to take charge of the Bougainville project.  It was his first trip to the site. I happened to be down at the coast at the time, … Continue reading

Posted in Bougainville | Leave a comment

My wildest helicopter ride

“I need to get down to the coast.” Dave Binney had arrived at Barapinang camp, my current home, with a drum of fuel. “I’m going back down there now. Hop in!” Dave was about to show me exactly what mountain … Continue reading

Posted in Bougainville | 3 Comments

Sex at Barapinang

Like all traditionally built structures, the Barapinang house had only openings for windows.  Spiders provided protection from insects.  Huge spiders had webs built over some of the windows, and all over the underside of the roof. They were well fed.  … Continue reading

Posted in Bougainville | Leave a comment